56,562 research outputs found

    Towards a sociology of conspiracy theories: An investigation into conspiratorial thinking on Dönmes

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    This thesis investigates the social and political significance of conspiracy theories, which has been an academically neglected topic despite its historical relevance. The academic literature focuses on the methodology, social significance and political impacts of these theories in a secluded manner and lacks empirical analyses. In response, this research provides a comprehensive theoretical framework for conspiracy theories by considering their methodology, political impacts and social significance in the light of empirical data. Theoretically, the thesis uses Adorno's semi-erudition theory along with Girardian approach. It proposes that conspiracy theories are methodologically semi-erudite narratives, i.e. they are biased in favour of a belief and use reason only to prove it. It suggests that conspiracy theories appear in times of power vacuum and provide semi-erudite cognitive maps that relieve alienation and ontological insecurities of people and groups. In so doing, they enforce social control over their audience due to their essentialist, closed-to-interpretation narratives. In order to verify the theory, the study analyses empirically the social and political significance of conspiracy theories about the Dönme community in Turkey. The analysis comprises interviews with conspiracy theorists, conspiracy theory readers and political parties, alongside a frame analysis of the popular conspiracy theory books on Dönmes. These confirm the theoretical framework by showing that the conspiracy theories are fed by the ontological insecurities of Turkish society. Hence, conspiracy theorists, most readers and some political parties respond to their own ontological insecurities and political frustrations through scapegoating Dönmes. Consequently, this work shows that conspiracy theories are important symptoms of society, which, while relieving ontological insecurities, do not provide politically prolific narratives

    The temporality of rhetoric: the spatialization of time in modern criticism

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    Every conception of criticism conceals a notion of time which informs the manner in which the critic conceives of history, representation and criticism itself. This thesis reveals the philosophies of time inherent in certain key modern critical concepts: allegory, irony and the sublime. Each concept opens a breach in time, a disruption of chronology. In each case this gap or aporia is emphatically closed, elided or denied. Taking the philosophy of time elaborated by Giorgio Agamben as an introductory proposition, my argument turns in Chapter One to the allegorical temporality which Walter Benjamin sees as the time of photography. The second chapter examines the aesthetics of the sublime as melancholic or mournful untimeliness. In Chapter Three, Paul de Man's conception of irony provides an exemplary instance of the denial of this troubling temporal predicament. In opposition to the foreclosure of the disturbing temporalities of criticism, history and representation, the thesis proposes a fundamental rethinking of the philosophy of time as it relates to these categories of reflection. In a reading of an inaugural meditation on the nature of time, and in examining certain key contemporary philosophical and critical texts, I argue for a critical attendance to that which eludes those modes of thought that attempt to map time as a recognizable and essentially spatial field. The Confessions of Augustine provide, in the fourth chapter, a model for thinking through the problems set up earlier: Augustine affords us, precisely, a means of conceiving of the gap or the interim. In the final chapter, this concept is developed with reference to the criticism of Arnold and Eliot, the fiction of Virginia Woolf and the philosophy of cinema derived from Deleuze and Lyotard. In conclusion, the philosophical implications of the thesis are placed in relation to a conception of the untimeliness of death

    What is the importance of sperm subpopulations?

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    .The study of sperm subpopulations spans three decades. The origin, meaning, and practical significance, however, are less clear. Current technology for assessing sperm morphology (CASA-Morph) and motility (CASA-Mot) has enabled the accurate evaluation of these features, and there are many options for data classification. Subpopulations could occur as a result of the stage of development of each spermatozoon in the subpopulation. Spermatogenesis might contribute to the production of these subpopulations. Insights from evolutionary biology and recent molecular research are indicative of the diversity among male gametes that could occur from unequal sharing of transcripts and other elements through cytoplasmic bridges between spermatids. Sperm cohorts exiting the gonads would contain different RNA and protein contents, affecting the spermatozoon physiology and associations with the surrounding environmental milieu. Subsequently, these differences could affect how spermatozoa interact with the environmental milieu (maturation, mixing with seminal plasma, and interacting with the environmental milieu, or female genital tract and female gamete). The emergence of sperm subpopulations as an outcome of evolution, related to the reproductive strategies of the species, genital tract structures, and copulatory and fertilization processes. This kind of approach in determining the importance of sperm subpopulations in fertilization capacity should have a practical impact for conducting reproductive technologies, inspiring and enabling new ways for the more efficient use of spermatozoa in the medical, animal breeding, and conservation fields. This manuscript is a contribution to the Special Issue in memory of Dr. Duane GarnerS

    Les mécanismes du contrôle de gestion et l’ingénierie des coûts un enchainement nécessaire pour améliorer le processus décisionnel

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    Cost analysis is an integral part of the scope of cost accounting. As an instrument for collecting and analyzing information, it represents the core of the management control information system, despite its contributions, it has been the subject of criticism concerning the degree of relevance of the decisions attributed by the managers, it was developed in the 1970s with the development of new information and communication technologies and the creation of software able to analyze data. These mechanisms have the drawback of generating deviations from the real costs of the products, which leads to inadequate decisions that could harm the cause (resources consumed) and effect (products produced) relationship. Cost accounting is no longer introduced today as a decision-making aid instrument likely to influence the behavior, but as a posteriori control instrument making it possible to adjust economic trends, the objective ultimate is the formation of costs while taking into account the relevance of the methods implemented given the specificities of organizations in a context of increasing evolution, this explains its passage to management accounting. (Zaam, 2015). This makes it possible to question the impact of contingent criteria for changing costs on performance. To resolve this observation, it is necessary to expose the different techniques for analyzing costs and their importance in the process of taking reliable decision. The concept of cost is present today in all entities and its relevance lies in the accounting model implemented. A firm can calculate the cost of different ways (full cost, partial costs, target cost, standard cost), the multiplicity of instruments will guide the design of the information system. This theoretical article is devoted to introduce the important pillar of management control that is cost engineering and its impact on the performance of the firm, the research methodology will be carried out according to a positivist approach, focusing on the shortcomings of the classic model and the extension of activity-based and revenue maximizing methods.     JEL Classification : M41, M49 Paper type: Theoretical Research  L’analyse des coĂ»ts fait partie intĂ©grante du pĂ©rimètre de la comptabilitĂ© analytique d’exploitation. En tant qu’instrument de collecte et d’analyse d’information, elle reprĂ©sente le noyau de système d’information contrĂ´le de gestion, malgrĂ© ses apports, elle a fait l’objet des critiques concernant le degrĂ© de pertinence des dĂ©cisions attribuĂ©es par les managers, elle a Ă©tĂ© dĂ©veloppĂ©e dans les annĂ©es 1970 avec le dĂ©veloppement des nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication et la crĂ©ation des logiciels capables d’analyser les donnĂ©es. Ces mĂ©canismes prĂ©sentent l’inconvĂ©nient de gĂ©nĂ©rer des dĂ©viations par rapport aux coĂ»ts rĂ©els des produits, ce qui dĂ©bouche Ă  prendre des dĂ©cisions inadĂ©quates pouvant nuire la relation de cause (ressources consommĂ©es) Ă  effet (produits fabriquĂ©s). La comptabilitĂ© analytique d’exploitation n’est plus introduite aujourd’hui comme un instrument d’aide Ă  la prise de dĂ©cision susceptible d’influencer les comportements, mais comme un instrument de contrĂ´le a posteriori permettant d’ajuster les tendances conjoncturelles, l’objectif ultime est la formation des coĂ»ts tout en prenant en compte la pertinence des mĂ©thodes mises en Ĺ“uvre vu les spĂ©cificitĂ©s des organisations dans un contexte d’évolution croissante, ceci explique son passage Ă  la comptabilitĂ© de gestion. (Zaam, 2015). Cela permet de s’interroger sur l’impact des critères contingents d’évolution des coĂ»ts sur la performance, pour rĂ©soudre ce constat, il est nĂ©cessaire d’exposer les diffĂ©rentes techniques d’analyse des coĂ»ts et leurs importances dans le processus de prise de dĂ©cision fiable. La notion de coĂ»t est prĂ©sente aujourd’hui dans toutes les entitĂ©s et sa pertinence rĂ©side dans le modèle comptable mis en Ĺ“uvre. Une firme peut calculer le coĂ»t selon diffĂ©rentes manières (coĂ»t complet, coĂ»t partiel, coĂ»t cible, coĂ»t standard), la multiplicitĂ© des instruments orientera la conception du système d’information. Cet article thĂ©orique est consacrĂ© Ă  l’introduction du pilier important du contrĂ´le de gestion que sont l’ingĂ©nierie des coĂ»ts et son impact sur la performance de la firme, la mĂ©thodologie de recherche sera menĂ©e selon une approche positiviste, mettant l’accent sur les insuffisances du modèle classique et le prolongement des mĂ©thodes fondĂ©es sur les activitĂ©s et la maximisation des revenus.     Classification JEL: M41, M49 Type de l’article : Article thĂ©orique &nbsp

    Viral Vectors in Gene Therapy and Clinical Applications

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    Developments in gene therapy, coupled with advances in genome sequencing and a greater understanding of DNA sequences, have given rise to an exciting area of research. The use of viral vectors in gene therapy has become a very promising and fast-emerging technology over the past few decades. Despite previous setbacks, the approval of viral vector therapies worldwide, with many in late-stage clinical trials has led to a significant increase in research in this area of gene therapy. Retroviral, adenoviral, adeno-associated viral, and lentiviral vectors are all key vectors currently being researched and used in clinical trials. There are many challenges with the use of viral vectors that are yet to be overcome including cost of production, the immune response, and the ability to precisely regulate the expression of the transgene. However, with increased numbers of clinical trials showing efficacy, safety, and growing financial investment, the future use of viral vectors in gene therapy is increasingly promising

    Interactive Sonic Environments: Sonic artwork via gameplay experience

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    The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of video-game technology in the design and implementation of interactive sonic centric artworks, the purpose of which is to create and contribute to the discourse and understanding of its effectiveness in electro-acoustic composition highlighting the creative process. Key research questions include: How can the language of electro-acoustic music be placed in a new framework derived from videogame aesthetics and technology? What new creative processes need to be considered when using this medium? Moreover, what aspects of 'play' should be considered when designing the systems? The findings of this study assert that composers and sonic art practitioners need little or no coding knowledge to create exciting applications and the myriad of options available to the composer when using video-game technology is limited only by imagination. Through a cyclic process of planning, building, testing and playing these applications the project revealed advantages and unique sonic opportunities in comparison to other sonic art installations. A portfolio of selected original compositions, both fixed and open are presented by the author to complement this study. The commentary serves to place the work in context with other practitioners in the field and to provide compositional approaches that have been taken

    The Time Devil runs amok: How I improved my creative practice by adopting a multimodal approach for a specific audience.

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    This research illustrates how teacher-writers can improve their craft and pedagogy by writing for a specific audience, namely school children. It also illustrates why they might do so. It interrogates what was learnt from an innovative collaboration between a university teacher-education department, an inner-city secondary school and the United Kingdom’s National Maritime Museum (NMM). Multimodality (Barnard 2019) inspired the project: local spaces, institutional settings, historical objects, photographs, pictures, time-travelling films and narratives motivated the teacher-writer and participants to read and respond imaginatively to the world. The author found that the project caused him to “remediate” his own practice: to transfer “existing skills in order to tackle new genres” (Barnard 2019: 121). This process enabled him to become a more effective writer and teacher. The research shows that the problem of multimodal overload – having too much choice regarding what to write about and the many forms writing can take – can be circumnavigated if participants are given both autonomy and constraints. It illustrates in some depth how the concept of reciprocity is vital to adopt if writers are to improve their craft

    Reforming the United Nations

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    The thesis deals with the financial crisis that the United Nations faced starting in 1985 when the US Congress decided to withhold a significant part of the US contribution to the UN regular budget in order to force a greater say for the major contributors on budgetary issues, budgetary restraint and greater efficiency. The UN responded by the adoption of resolution 41/213 of 19 December 1986 that was based on the recommendations of a Group of High-level Intergovernmental Experts ("G-18") set up a year earlier. A new system was introduced regarding the formulation of the regular budget of the United Nations Organisation and a broader process of reform was initiated including a restructuring of the Secretariat and of the intergovernmental machinery in the economic and social fields. After an introductory chapter (Chapter I), the thesis examines the UN problems at the budgetary/financial and administrative/structural levels, the solutions proposed from within and without the United Nations established framework and the actual attempts at reform (Chapters II and ifi). The realisation that the implementation of reforms is rather disjointed and often unsuccessful (e.g. the failure to restructure the intergovernmental machi.neiy) prompts a search for the deeper causes of the UN problems at the political level and the attitudes of the main actors, namely the USA, the USSR, some up-and-coming states, notably Japan, the Third World states and, finally, of the UN Secretary-General and the Secretariat (Chapter 1V). Although the financial crisis may have subsided since 1988 and the USA seem committed to paying up their dues, the deeper UN crisis of identity has not been resolved and is expected to resurface if no bold steps are taken. In that direction, some possible alternative courses for the UN in the future are discussed drawing upon theory and practice (Chapte

    The empty space in abstract photography: a psychoanalytical perspective

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    The aim of the research that this thesis is based on is to explore the theoretical problems raised by the concept of photographic abstraction. These consist in the tension between the two aspects of the photographic sign, the indexical and iconic, and are examined in the context of the particular exploration of the empty space in abstract photography which I have pursued through my practice. The investigation draws mainly upon the psychoanalytic theory of transitional phenomena as proposed by Winnicott, as well as other art theories (Deleuze & Guattari, Ehrenzweig, Fer, Fuller, Greenberg, Joselit, Kuspit, Leider, Worringer) of abstraction. It explores the relationship of the abstract photographic image to notions of exteriority and interiority as these relate to the transition from the unconscious to conscious reality. The development of this research suggests the psychoanalytical concept of potential space as a contribution to an aesthetic model of abstraction. This concept is employed as a methodological tool in the development of the practical work and creates a framework for its interpretation. The concept of potential space is based on Winnicott's ideas around "playing with the real" in an intermediate area of experience between the internal and external reality, where creativity originates as a zone of fictive play that facilitates the subject's journey from "what is subjectively conceived of' to "what is objectively perceived. " The outcome of this investigation constitutes the production of a series of photographs describing an empty abstract space, one that is invested with a psychic dimension that produces the effect of ambiguity between its representational and abstract readings. It provides a redefinition of abstraction in a space of tension between the iconic and indexical aspects of the sign and opens up the space of abstraction in photography as one in which the relationship between inner and outer reality can be performed and can become a space of action and intervention
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