Tag Archives: Netherlands

Dutch city plans to pay citizens a ‘basic income’, and Greens say it could work in the UK

Utrecht takes step towards paying people a salary whether they work or not


By  in Utrecht

It’s an idea whose adherents over the centuries have ranged from socialists to libertarians to far-right mavericks. It was first proposed by Thomas Paine in his 1797 pamphlet, Agrarian Justice, as a system in which at the “age of majority” everyone would receive an equal capital grant, a “basic income” handed over by the state to each and all, no questions asked, to do with what they wanted.

It might be thought that, in these austere times, no idea could be more politically toxic: literally, a policy of the state handing over something for nothing. But in Utrecht, one of the largest cities in the Netherlands, and 19 other Dutch municipalities, a tentative step towards realising the dream of many a marginal and disappointed political theorist is being made.

The politicians, well aware of a possible backlash, are rather shy of admitting it. “We had to delete mention of basic income from all the documents to get the policy signed off by the council,” confided Lisa Westerveld, a Green councillor for the city of Nijmegen, near the Dutch-German border.

Read more » The guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/26/dutch-city-utrecht-basic-income-uk-greens?CMP=fb_gu


The Netherlands Is Set To Open The World’s First Solar Road

The Netherlands Is Set To Open The World’s First Solar Bike Lane


The Netherlands is opening up the world’s first stretch of road made with solar cells this week. And in keeping with the road’s environmentally-friendly message — and the cycling culture of the Netherlands — the road is built for bikes, not cars.

The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research and the Dutch province of North Holland will open a 230-foot stretch of the project, dubbed SolaRoad, on November 12. The stretch of bike lane contains solar cells that are protected by two layers of safety glass and which can generate enough energy to power about three Dutch homes.

Read more » ThinkProgress


Research team claims to have accurately ‘teleported’ quantum information ten feet

By Bob Yirka

(Phys.org) —A team of researchers at Delft University in the Netherlands is reporting in a paper they have had published in the journal Science, that they have successfully used entanglement as a means of communication, over a distance of ten feet (three meters). Furthermore, they note, they did so with 100 percent reliability and without altering the spin state of the quantum bits (qubits) involved.

Teleportation, is of course, a means of moving an object from one place to another without it having to travel between them. Thus far examples of it have only been seen in science fiction movies. The idea of moving information in similar fashion, however, has met with some, albeit limited success. The idea is to use the concept of entanglement of particles as a means of conveyance. It’s supposed to work because of the strange interconnectedness of the two particles—whatever happens to one, automatically happens to the other, regardless of the distance between them. Such a property should allow then, for the exchange of information. If the  of one qubit is altered, then it should be automatically altered in the other qubit—a form of information exchange which can be counted as a message of sorts if a string of such transactions can be carried out.

To date, scientists have struggled to use entanglement as a means of communication—it’s been achieved but the error rate has been so great that it would be unfeasible as a real-world application. In this new effort, the researchers claim to have solved the error rate problem—they’ve brought it down to zero percent. They did it, they report, by trapping electrons in diamonds at very low temperatures and shooting them with lasers, resulting in the creation of . The diamonds, the team reports, serve as really tiny prisons, holding the electrons in place. Held as they were, the researchers were able to cause a spin state to exist and then to read it at both locations, which meant that information had been conveyed.

The research team next plans to extend the distance between the qubits to 1,300 meters, while others presumably will attempt to replicate the first result—if the claims prove true, the breakthrough could mark the first stage of a the development of a true quantum computer, or network.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-05-team-accurately-teleported-quantum-ten.html#jCp


Canada is not doing better

Ed Broadbent: Inequality’s a problem for Canada, too

By: ED BROADBENT, The Globe and Mail

I don’t know whether it’s smugness or indifference, but we Canadians can be a self-deluding lot. Growing inequality, portrayed recently in The Economist as a global scourge, when viewed from Canada, seems to be a problem only for others.

After all, it was other countries’ banks that crashed in 2008. It’s in southern Europe that tens of thousands are taking to the streets. And it was in France and the United States that recent elections were fought over the fact that those who created the mess, the top 1 per cent, are still getting big bonuses and low tax rates.

Well, guess what? Canada is not doing better. From 1982 until 2004, almost all growth in family income went to the top 20 per cent, with much of that going to the top 1 per cent, while the bottom 60 per cent saw no growth at all. The increase in inequality in Canada since the mid-1990s has been the fourth highest in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

But does this matter? Yes, the evidence is in, and the conclusion is clear: Inequality does matter. In terms of social outcomes, more equal societies do better for everyone, not just for the poor, in almost every respect: health outcomes, life expectancy, level of trust in society, equality of opportunity and upward social mobility. A recent study showed that if Americans want to experience the American Dream of upward mobility, they should pack up and move to Sweden. They would have to leave the most unequal democracy and move to the most equal.

Continue reading Canada is not doing better


Canada falling behind on poverty, inequality, says report

Conference Board report card gives Canada a B, ranked 7th out of 17 developed countries

Canada isn’t living up to its potential or its reputation when it comes to societal issues like poverty, government and inequality, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

The group gave Canada a ‘B’, good for a 7th place ranking out of 17 developed countries, but it said the “middle-of-the-pack” ranking leaves room for improvement.

Getting an ‘A’ at the top of the rankings were the Scandinavian nations (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) as well as the Netherlands and Austria. …

Read more » CBC


The End (of Religion) Is Near, Scientists Say

Scientists often have a funny way of talking about religion.

By Louis Ruprecht

A case in point concerns a new study that was discussed at the American Physical Society meetings in Dallas, Texas, in late March. Religion, it seems, is going extinct. You heard me: extinct. Dead and gone. Like the dinosaurs.

The data that a team of mathematicians used to reach this rather surprising conclusion were census reports of religious affiliation. Using a complicated means of mathematical analysis called “nonlinear dynamics”—complicated, ironically, because its purpose is to make complicated things simpler by reducing them to one variable—the team attempted to extrapolate from data on religious affiliation in nine countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

Turns out, every case of self-reported religious affiliation is trending downward: 40% self-identify as religiously non-affiliated in the Netherlands, as do 60% in the Czech Republic. The mathematicians seem far more surprised by these numbers than most religionists would be. ….

Read more : Alternet.org


Spain won the FIFA World Cup

Andres Iniesta scored a goal deep into extra time to give Spain the World Cup for the first time with a 1-0 win over Netherlands ..

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