Eratosthenes

In 1993, Jacques Dutka shared information about the Greek mathematician Eratosthenes, reportedly nicknamed “’New Plato’” (Fisher, 1982, p. 803).  Dutka said, “About 230 B.C., Eratosthenes of Cyrene (275-194 B.C.) made a measurement of the circumference of the Earth, assumed spherical in form” (Dutka, 1993, p. 55). Dutka goes on and describes that “His method was based on a remarkably simple proportion relating the difference between the latitudes of two stations on the same meridian, obtained from celestial observations, and their terrestrial distance apart” (Dutka p. 55). Having said that, Eratosthenes had a career. Specifically, Kelly Trumble mentioned that Eratosthenes, held the prestigious job of Librarian at the Library of Alexandria (Trumble, 2003 p. 24).

Centuries after Eratosthenes lived, the Apostle Paul said, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (NIV, Rom 4:25). God does not remember the sins of the justified, though man records history for His or man’s purposes. With that in mind, the library’s total contents have been under contention. Roger S. Bagnall shared the state of research in the year 2002. Bagnall said, “Moreover, if we are to give any credence to these numbers, why should we not be consistent in our credulity and believe that Demetrios of Phaleron already had amassed 200,000 volumes in the first decade of the third century B.C. as Pseudo-Aristeas says” (Bagnall, 2002, p.). According to Daniel Heller-Roazen, the Library of Alexandria may have burned down in “the fourth century” (Heller-Roazen, 2002, p. 149) BC.

With growing interest in astronomy and the mathematical sciences as a computer science major, my extracurricular activities are increasingly involving observance of the heavens and sacred spheres of thought. During this experience, the more technology improves, the more I seek fundamental understanding.

Bibliography

Bagnall, R. (2002). Alexandria: Library of Dreams. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 146(4), 348-362. Retrieved from http://0-www.jstor.org.library.regent.edu/stable/1558311

Dutka, J. (1993). “Eratosthenes’ Measurement of the Earth Reconsidered” Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 46(1), 55-66. Retrieved from http://0-www.jstor.org.library.regent.edu/stable/41134135

Fisher, R. (1982). Conon and the Poet : A Solution to “Eclogue”, III, 40-2. Latomus, 41(4), 803-814. Retrieved from http://0-www.jstor.org.library.regent.edu/stable/41532688

Heller-Roazen, D. (2002). Tradition’s Destruction: On the Library of Alexandria. October, 100, 133-153. Retrieved from http://0-www.jstor.org.library.regent.edu/stable/779096

Trumble, K., & Marshall, R. M. (2003). The Library of Alexandria. New York, NY: Clarion Books.

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An Application of Epistemic Proof for the Teleological View

Today, the Christian Broadcasting Network reported about a perceived issue related to a comment that Republican Party Chairman, Reince Priebus, said about President-elect Donald Trump. Priebus (2016) asserted, “Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King” (CBN News). Some became enraged and claimed the press release stated by Priebus as about Trump (2016). As we will see, there are competing views related to this situation that may be the right framework for understanding the Biblical Scriptures followed then by other messages in turn. In relation to the exegetical process of accepting data, hermeneutics for informative purposes, and applying it to contemporary issues, there are two opposing approaches to this. One approach that many claim is identifying a single piece of the Bible as representative of the entire Bible, or microscopic view. For example, people with the microscopic view and perhaps the most recent wave of feminist theology in contemporary times might say that the Apostle Paul’s first Epistle to Timothy contains a sexist theme. The Apostle Paul (KJV) said, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim 2:12). In and of itself, this Scriptural verse shows the fallen state of man, male and female; there is inequality in education thus in every level of society. However, the Biblical Scriptures are a collection of books with collective truth that is relevant to this verse. One such verse is the Psalm (KJV), “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” (19:8). This may be cross-referenced with the Psalm, “The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times” (12:6).

For the first mentioned Psalm, the reader might relate to the sun coming up day after day, increasing the health of the person who is exposed to it and waking him up. Similarly, the second mentioned Psalm describes that the reality of the Word of the Most High is shown through understanding the history of these messages that is the precedent for each message. When looking at the second chapter, verse 12 of Paul’s Epistle to Timothy, we may thus look to previous Biblical Scriptures. For example, Esther the queen informed the king Ahasuerus about the plot that advisor to the king, Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, had for destroying the Jews because Mordecai, another Jew, did not treat Haman with reverence because the faith of Israel, despite being dispersed, was not fully assimilated into other societies (Est 3:1-6, 7:1-6). The Matthew Henry Commentary states, “The religion of a Jew forbade him to give honours to any mortal man which savoured of idolatry, especially to so wicked a man as Haman” (Henry). The precept that Esther, a woman, taught a man, and in doing so preserved the Most High’s children by implicitly doing His work contradicts the microscopic view, but not Paul’s Epistle.

In contemporary Christian theology on marriage, Richard J. Foster shared insights. Foster said, “Marriage that is Christian is covenantal. A covenant is a promise – a pledge of love, loyalty, and faithfulness. A covenant involves continuity – the sense of a common future to look forward to and a history to look back on together” (Charry, 2000, p. 148). Therefore, man and woman work together with neither lording himself or herself over the other. The concept of covenant may be derived from this and applied to contemporary issues. This is the teleological view for approaching the Biblical Scriptures integrated into the exegetical process. Thus, the reader may look to other aspects of history related to Trump’s situation so that a true understanding may be perceived. In recent times, a common disagreement that is not so new is about honoring the birth of Christ on a single day of the Gregorian calendar year. Therefore, when John Weaver, a leading aide to Ohio Governor John Kasich expressed hatred towards this comment (CBN News), I think that this was interpreted as a man lording himself over the people who he is elected for so that he may serve. However, Gregg Birnbaum and Kevin Liptak reported on CNN that Trump recently spoke about reasserting the relevance of December the twenty-fifth as a special day for the world and Christianity should be celebrated rather than judged (CNN, 2016). Therefore, in accepting historical details as a union of intervals, interpreting them for personal understanding, and applying them to contemporary issues, the teleological view of reality is probably more tenable than the microscopic view might first appear.

References

Birnbaum, G., Liptak, K., & CNN. (2016, June 25). Trump, fist raised, wishes all a Merry Christmas – CNNPolitics.com. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/25/politics/trump-christmas-tweet/index.html

Charry, E. T. (2000). Inquiring after God: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Oxford, MA: Blackwell.

CBN News. (2016, December 26). RNC Press Release On Christ’s Birth Offends Top Political Aide | CBN.com. Retrieved from http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2016/december/rnc-press-release-on-christs-birth-offends-top-political-aide

Henry, M. (n.d.). Esther 3:6 Commentaries. Retrieved from http://biblehub.com/esther/3-6.htm

Data Privacy and Protections

For the ongoing discussion of data theory and applications, Science News, an organization that reports research of various subjects, released an article called Theoretical computer science provides answers to data privacy problem. For the purpose of this article, concepts related to the handling of data are discussed, and their applications. Specifically, the purposes that relate data to people are recognizable. Science News (2015) said, “Some data may be trivial, but in many cases, data are deeply personal. They can even influence our insurance premiums or the price we pay for a product online.” An example of a working system model with privacy worked with was reported by Science News as researched by a professor of computer science in Harvard University and former director of the Center of Research on Computation and Society, Salil Vadhan (2015). Described as “differential privacy” (2015), this concept protects data with approximations. With this premise, a series of queries may provide an identifiable pattern; a summation may be reckoned. The calculus of this approximation would then be equivalent to an integral that will produce an exact result. Science News reported that this is defended against by good judgment that would be increasing randomization and taking full care in comparing characteristics across queries (2015). This assessment seems vague because what people view as good judgment depends on initial assumptions about reality.

Although rule utilitarianism, for example, is discussed in contemporary times as a serious ethical concept, there is debate about its efficacy. Bo Brinkman and Alton F. Sanders describe rule utilitarianism. Brinkman and Sanders (2013) said, “In rule utilitarianism, we select a set of rules, and each act is evaluated as to whether it conforms to them” (p. 16). In this case, a rule utilitarian approach might be that the supposedly good judgment of differential privacy is people who may have access will have the keys to accurate information retrieval, and people with incorrect keys will get incorrect values returned to them. In the late 20th century AD, Winslett, et al. (1994) supposed a similar proposal. Winslett et al. (1994) said, “We believe that many of the MLS problems can be resolved by directly addressing the question of what an MLS database means, rather than making syntactic adjustments to avoid semantic problems” (p. 627). This proposal essentially asserted that lying is an effective form of confidentiality for cyber security. Although the supposed truth of relative semantics makes sense for the access key holders for secret information in short term, this causes a failure of integrity. For a historical account, the Apostle Paul discussed the Hebrew Bible. Paul (KJV) said, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Rom 3:10). This was the view before grace.

As Joachim Biskup showed, lying is not the correct approach. Biskup (2000) said, “The initial belief and the first k-1 answers (lies) would reveal the last secret psi_k.” This is a mathematical statement that reflects a Biblical prophecy. The Son of Man (KJV) said, “Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops” (Lu 12:3). Therefore, when randomizing data for the purpose of producing lies or untrue information for those who seek unauthorized access to data, I think that more secure concepts require something other than this sort of concept because true information will eventually be revealed, though that may be understood as defense in depth with protections being more understood as unapproachable like the image that a security guard for a crucial represents to attackers, defenders, and other vulnerable groups. Similarly, an available mathematical problem that computers would have difficulty solving would serve as a known defense that would be well defensible in contemporary times.

References

Biskup, J. (2000). For unknown secrecies refusal is better than lying. Data & Knowledge Engineering, 33(1), 1-23. doi:10.1016/S0169-023X(99)00043-9

Brinkman, W. J., & Sanders, A. F. (2013). Ethics in a Computing Culture. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Marianne Winslett, Kenneth Smith, and Xiaolei Qian. 1994. Formal query languages for secure relational databases. ACM Trans. Database Syst. 19, 4 (December 1994), 626-662. DOI=http://0-dx.doi.org.library.regent.edu/10.1145/195664.195675

National Science Foundation. (2015, October 7). Theoretical computer science provides answers to data privacy problem: New tools allow researchers to share and study sensitive data safely by applying ‘differential privacy’. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 25, 2016 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151007144933.htm