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Tech Workers Are Fleeing Silicon Valley…For Japan!

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American technology workers are fleeing overseas to avoid working in Silicon Valley, according to new mainstream news reports. The trend that President Donald Trump consistently highlights and tries to correct — jobs going overseas — is now hitting the Big Tech community as major companies seek to throttle down political speech from many conservative voices.

Why are our skilled tech workers abandoning the United States? Reasons cited include more pay in Japan and better living conditions than crime-ridden California.

Here is Bloomberg’s video report on Americans living the “Japanese Dream.”

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Interesting turn of events. The free market affects companies not only through consumers, but also through potential employees. Americans are scrambling to apply for jobs in Japan.

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Automotive News reports from Tokyo:

Japan is hardly known as a freewheeling source of Silicon Valley-beating breakthroughs. But one autonomous driving upstart wants to change that by bringing a little of Silicon Valley to this side of the Pacific.

Ascent Robotics, founded two years ago, hopes to deliver a Level 4 autonomous vehicle in two years and showcase it at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Ascent says it has a couple of secret weapons that will catapult it to the fore of the self-driving race. The first is an artificial intelligence that takes advantage of human neuroscience to better mimic causal reasoning. Ascent says its cars will better understand their driving environment and be able to drive anywhere without the need of high-accuracy GPS and digital maps.

The second is that, in a bid to foster innovation, Ascent is cultivating a California work culture in the heart of Tokyo.

A glance around its ultracasual office in the city’s trendy Ebisu district illustrates Ascent’s outside-the-box thinking. The English-only workspace is populated almost exclusively by young non-Japanese programmers lured from around the world by Tokyo’s sleepless vibe, crime-free streets and cool cuisine. What’s more, paychecks often go further than in pricey Silicon Valley.

American co-founder Fred Almeida, a machine-learning expert, is a rare non-Japanese entrepreneur who set up shop in Japan for just those reasons. Ascent has 50 employees and expects to triple its ranks within a year. The company gets 700 resumes a week, Almeida says.”

Automotive News passage ends

 

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Turkey’s Erdogan is Threatening To Convert One of Christianity’s Most Historic Churches Back into a Mosque

The 6th century church is currently a museum.

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Turkey’s Islamist president is threatening to convert one of the world’s most historic and iconic Christian churches into an Islamic mosque, in a move designed to appease Tayyip Erdogan’s political base and insult Christians.

The Council of State of Turkey is expected to rule this week on a request by Erdogan to convert the Hagia Sophia Museum into an Islamic mosque, and international observers are expecting that the court system will sign off on Erdogan’s initiative to turn the former church into a mosque.

The Hagia Sophia Church was constructed in Constantinople(today known as Istanbul) in A.D. 537 by Justinian, the then-Emperor of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. The church was a global symbol of the Byzantine civilization throughout the Middle Ages. It was converted into an Islamic mosque in the year 1453 when the Ottoman Empire captured Constantinople under the leadership of Mehmed II, a moment in history that Erdogan and his supporters point to as a moment of national pride.

When Turkey emerged from the declining Ottoman Empire shortly after World War I, the nation’s contemporary founder, Kemal Ataturk, arranged for the building to be placed into a use as a museum. The building, which is Turkey’s most visited tourist attraction to this day, has remained as such since 1935.

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The church remains a holy symbol to hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians throughout the world today. Bartholomew I, the Christian bishop who holds the Byzantine title of “Patriarch of Constantinople” in Istanbul, warned of the consequences of such an inflammatory cultural act. “The potential conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will turn millions of Christians around the world against Islam… What can I say as a Christian clergyman and the Greek patriarch in Istanbul? Instead of uniting, a 1,500-year-old heritage is dividing us. I am saddened and shaken.

The 6th century building is not only noteworthy to two major world religions(originally Christianity), but is the most architecturally impressive building preserved from the early Middle Ages. Many of Constantinople’s most historic churches and buildings, such the Church of the Holy Apostles, were destroyed by the Ottoman conquerors in the decades following the 1453 Siege of Constantinople.

The Hagia Sophia church contains some of the most-well preserved medieval Byzantine images of Christ, Mary, various saints, and several Eastern Roman Emperors. As images of the human form are prohibited in Islam, some have questioned whether the artwork- which was uncovered from beneath a coating material when the building was phased from an Ottoman mosque into a museum- will be destroyed in the event it’s turned back into a mosque.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, the government of Greece(which views itself as the inheritor of the Byzantine Empire’s Greek-speaking legacy), and United Nations cultural institutions have spoken against the planned usurpation of the historic church. Pope Francis has been conspicuously silent, thus far.

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