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Arne Næss: Recommendations for Public Debate
Arne Dekke Eide Næss ( AR-nə NESS; Norwegian: [ˈnɛsː]; 27 January 1912 – 12 January 2009) was a Norwegian philosopher who coined the term "deep ecology" and was an important intellectual and inspirational figure within the environmental movement of the late twentieth century. Næss cited Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring as being a key influence in his vision of deep ecology. Næss combined his ecological vision with Gandhian nonviolence and on several occasions participated in direct action.
Næss averred that while western environmental groups of the early post-war period had raised public awareness of the environmental issues of the time, they had largely failed to have insight into and address what he argued were the underlying cultural and philosophical background to these problems. Naess believed that the environmental crisis of the twentieth century had arisen due to certain unspoken philosophical presuppositions and attitudes within modern western developed societies which remained unacknowledged.
He thereby distinguished between what he called deep and shallow ecological thinking. In contrast to the prevailing utilitarian pragmatism of western businesses and governments, he advocated that a true understanding of nature would give rise to a point of view that appreciates the value of biological diversity, understanding that each living thing is dependent on the existence of other creatures in the complex web of interrelationships that is the natural world.
- "Arne Næss: Recommendations for Public Debate" | 2015-10-23 | 22 Upvotes 4 Comments
Law of Jante
The Law of Jante (Danish: Janteloven) is a code of conduct known in Nordic countries that characterizes not conforming, doing things out of the ordinary, or being overtly personally ambitious as unworthy and inappropriate. The attitudes were first formulated in the form of the ten rules of Jante Law by the Dano-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose in his satirical novel A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks (En flyktning krysser sitt spor, 1933), but the actual attitudes themselves are older. Sandemose portrays the fictional small Danish town Jante, which he modelled upon his native town Nykøbing Mors in the 1930s, where nobody was anonymous, which is typical of all small towns and communities.
Used generally in colloquial speech in the Nordic countries as a sociological term to denote a social attitude of disapproval towards expressions of individuality and personal success, it emphasizes adherence to the collective.
- "Law of Jante" | 2017-09-30 | 87 Upvotes 61 Comments
Norway–European Union relations
Norway is not a member state of the European Union (EU). However, it is associated with the Union through its membership in agreements in the European Economic Area (EEA) established in 1994, and by virtue of being a founding member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which was founded in 1960, one of the two historically dominant western European trade blocs. Norway had considered joining the European Community and the European Union twice, but opted to decline following referendums in 1972 and 1994.
- "Norway–European Union relations" | 2016-06-25 | 50 Upvotes 66 Comments
Norwegian butter crisis (2011)
The Norwegian butter crisis began in late 2011 with an acute shortage of butter and inflation of its price across markets in Norway. The shortage caused soaring prices and stores' stocks of butter ran out within minutes of deliveries. According to the Danish tabloid B.T., Norway was gripped by smør-panik ("butter panic") as a result of the butter shortage.
- "Norwegian butter crisis" | 2022-04-20 | 15 Upvotes 2 Comments
- "Norwegian butter crisis (2011)" | 2015-05-20 | 176 Upvotes 111 Comments
Today Is Norwegian Constitution Day
Norwegian Constitution Day is the national day of Norway and is an official public holiday observed on May 17 each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (lit. "seventeenth May"), Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day), although the latter is less frequent.
- "Today Is Norwegian Constitution Day" | 2017-05-17 | 19 Upvotes 1 Comments
Svalbard Global Seed Vault
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Norwegian: Svalbard globale frøhvelv) is a secure seed bank on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago. Conservationist Cary Fowler, in association with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), started the vault to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds that are duplicate samples, or "spare" copies, of seeds held in gene banks worldwide. The seed vault is an attempt to ensure against the loss of seeds in other genebanks during large-scale regional or global crises. The seed vault is managed under terms spelled out in a tripartite agreement among the Norwegian government, the Crop Trust, and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen).
The Norwegian government entirely funded the vault's approximately 45 million kr (US$8.8 million in 2008) construction. Storing seeds in the vault is free to end users; Norway and the Crop Trust pay for operational costs. Primary funding for the Trust comes from organisations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from various governments worldwide.
- "Svalbard Global Seed Vault" | 2019-06-13 | 108 Upvotes 13 Comments
- "Svalbard Global Seed Vault" | 2016-05-15 | 63 Upvotes 11 Comments
Norsk Data was a (mini-)computer manufacturer located in Oslo, Norway. Existing from 1967 to 1992, it had its most active period in the years from the early 1970s to the late 1980s. At the company's peak in 1987 it was the second largest company in Norway and employed over 4,500 people.
Throughout its history Norsk Data produced a long string of extremely innovative systems, with a disproportionately large number of world firsts. Some examples of this are the NORD-1, the first minicomputer to have memory paging as a standard option, and the first machine to have floating-point instructions standard, the NORD-5, the world's first 32-bit minicomputer (beating the VAX, often claimed the first, by 6 years)
- "Norsk Data" | 2020-05-06 | 301 Upvotes 91 Comments
Kon Tiki Expedition
The Kon-Tiki expedition was a 1947 journey by raft across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands, led by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl. The raft was named Kon-Tiki after the Inca god Viracocha, for whom "Kon-Tiki" was said to be an old name. Kon-Tiki is also the name of Heyerdahl's book, the Academy Award-winning 1950 documentary film chronicling his adventures, and the 2012 dramatized feature film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Heyerdahl believed that people from South America could have reached Polynesia during pre-Columbian times. His aim in mounting the Kon-Tiki expedition was to show, by using only the materials and technologies available to those people at the time, that there were no technical reasons to prevent them from having done so. Although the expedition carried some modern equipment, such as a radio, watches, charts, sextant, and metal knives, Heyerdahl argued they were incidental to the purpose of proving that the raft itself could make the journey.
Heyerdahl's hypothesis of a South American origin of the Polynesian peoples, as well as his "drift voyaging" hypothesis, is generally rejected by scientists today. Archaeological, linguistic, cultural, and genetic evidence tends to support a western origin for Polynesians, from Island Southeast Asia, using sophisticated multihull sailing technologies and navigation techniques during the Austronesian expansion. However, there is evidence of some gene flow from South America to Easter Island.
The Kon-Tiki expedition was funded by private loans, along with donations of equipment from the United States Army. Heyerdahl and a small team went to Peru, where, with the help of dockyard facilities provided by the Peruvian authorities, they constructed the raft out of balsa logs and other native materials in an indigenous style as recorded in illustrations by Spanish conquistadores. The trip began on April 28, 1947. Heyerdahl and five companions sailed the raft for 101 days over 6,900 km (4,300 miles) across the Pacific Ocean before smashing into a reef at Raroia in the Tuamotus on August 7, 1947. The crew made successful landfall and all returned safely.
Thor Heyerdahl's book about his experience became a bestseller. It was published in Norwegian in 1948 as The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas, later reprinted as Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft. It appeared with great success in English in 1950, also in many other languages. A documentary motion picture about the expedition, also called Kon-Tiki, was produced from a write-up and expansion of the crew's filmstrip notes and won an Academy Award in 1951. It was directed by Heyerdahl and edited by Olle Nordemar. The voyage was also chronicled in the documentary TV-series The Kon-Tiki Man: The Life and Adventures of Thor Heyerdahl, directed by Bengt Jonson.
The original Kon-Tiki raft is now on display in the Kon-Tiki Museum at Bygdøy in Oslo.
- "Kon Tiki Expedition" | 2021-12-30 | 27 Upvotes 1 Comments
Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago that anyone can call home
Uniquely, the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, located in the High Arctic, is an entirely visa-free zone. However, travelers who have a visa requirement to enter mainland Norway/the Schengen area must have a Schengen visa if they travel via mainland Norway/the Schengen area. This must be a double-entry visa so they can return to mainland Norway/the Schengen area.
Those traveling to and from Svalbard must bring passports or national identity cards, as all are subject to identity check. Passports or national identity cards satisfy the Schengen regulatory requirements for identity verification. Due to a transitional arrangement, Norwegian citizens could also prove their identity with a document issued in Norway which included at least name, photo and date of birth, such as a Norwegian driving licence issued after 1998; the transitional period ended on 31 December 2021.
Everybody may live and work in Svalbard indefinitely regardless of country of citizenship. The Svalbard Treaty grants treaty nationals equal right of abode as Norwegian nationals. Non-treaty nationals may live and work indefinitely visa-free as well. Per Sefland, then Governor of Svalbard, said "It has been a chosen policy so far that we haven't made any difference between the treaty citizens and those from outside the treaty". "Regulations concerning rejection and expulsion from Svalbard" are enforced on a non-discriminatory basis. Grounds for exclusion include lack of means of support, and violation of laws or regulations.
Hans-Henrik Hartmann, then head of the legal unit at the Norwegian government's immigration department, said, "If an asylum seeker is refused residence in Norway he can settle in Svalbard so long as he can get there and is able to pay for himself." Svalbard has a high cost of living, but only a limited welfare system. Welfare and health care is available only for Norwegians and for workers employed by a Norwegian company.
The Norwegian Nationality Act applies to Svalbard, cf. Section 1. However, the Act does not provide any special rules for foreign nationals residing on Svalbard. Foreigners living on Svalbard must meet the conditions of the law to obtain Norwegian citizenship. In order to acquire Norwegian citizenship upon application, there is, according to the main rule, a requirement to fulfill the conditions for a permanent residence permit, and consequently a requirement for residence on the Norwegian mainland with a residence permit. Such permits are granted in accordance with the Norwegian Immigration Act. Because the Norwegian Immigration Act does not apply to Svalbard, cf. Section 6, residence on Svalbard does not qualify foreign nationals for residence permits on the Norwegian mainland.
- "Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago that anyone can call home" | 2022-01-09 | 13 Upvotes 5 Comments
Andrée's Arctic Balloon Expedition
Andrée's Arctic balloon expedition of 1897 was an effort to reach the North Pole in which all three Swedish expedition members – S. A. Andrée, Knut Frænkel, and Nils Strindberg – perished. Andrée, the first Swedish balloonist, proposed a voyage by hydrogen balloon from Svalbard to either Russia or Canada, which was to pass, with luck, straight over the North Pole on the way. The scheme was received with patriotic enthusiasm in Sweden, a northern nation that had fallen behind in the race for the North Pole.
Andrée ignored many early signs of the dangers associated with his balloon plan. Being able to steer the balloon to some extent was essential for a safe journey, but there was much evidence that the drag-rope steering technique he had invented was ineffective. Worse, the polar balloon Örnen (Eagle) was delivered directly to Svalbard from its manufacturer in Paris without being tested. When measurements showed it to be leaking more than expected, Andrée failed to acknowledge the risk.
After Andrée, Strindberg, and Frænkel lifted off from Svalbard in July 1897, the balloon lost hydrogen quickly and crashed on the pack ice after only two days. The explorers were unhurt but faced a grueling trek back south across the drifting icescape. Inadequately clothed, equipped, and prepared, and shocked by the difficulty of the terrain, they did not make it to safety. As the Arctic winter closed in on them in October, the group ended up exhausted on the deserted Kvitøya (White Island) in Svalbard and died there. For 33 years the fate of the expedition remained one of the unsolved riddles of the Arctic. The chance discovery in 1930 of the expedition's last camp created a media sensation in Sweden, where the dead men had been mourned and idolized.
Andrée's motives and mindset have been the subject of extensive fictional and historical discussion, particularly inspired by his apparent foolhardiness. An early example is Per Olof Sundman's fictionalized bestseller novel of 1967, The Flight of the Eagle, which portrays Andrée as weak and cynical, at the mercy of his sponsors and the media. Modern writers have been generally critical of Andrée.
- "Andrée's Arctic Balloon Expedition" | 2022-09-14 | 30 Upvotes 12 Comments