Facial recognition is a technological way of identifying a person’s face, usually for authentication purposes. Facial recognition systems use face measurements and calculations to authorize access. The technology compares the characteristics of an individual’s face with the information gathered in a database.
A Venezia, per la Biennale d’Arte Contemporanea, era visitabile il Padiglione Internazionale dell’Asia Centrale. Commissionato dallo HIVOS (Istituto Umanistico per lo Sviluppo della Cooperazione), il suo allestimento ha coinvolto la “bella cornice” del Palazzo Malipiero. Il Padiglione “dell’Asia Centrale” precisamente era stato curato da due artisti, trasferitisi in Norvegia: Ayatgali Tuleubek (kazaco) e Tiago Bom (portoghese). Le cinque repubbliche ex-sovietiche dell’Asia Centrale (ergo il Turkmenistan, il Kirghizistan, l’Uzbekistan, il Kazakistan ed il Tagikistan) attraversano un periodo di fermento politico. Il caratteristico “miraggio” dell’occidentalizzazione si scontra con la necessità d’una giustizia sociale. Qualcosa da percepire dentro una conflittualità “invernale”.
“And now something completely different,” would have said Monty Phyton Flying Circus. Probably something completely unheard of by our intelligence readers. However, for those who follow Scuola Filosofica, Tolkien is not a new entry, as it’s not Claudio A. Testi. But as many of you know, I love anecdotes (and I’m just 34!). Everything started in 2013 when I was waiting to get a PhD candidacy. A frantic activity was undergoing. I filled tons of papers for the beloved Italian bureaucracy every day (something I would have recommended to Sauron or Saruman!). Meanwhile, to stay up and in good (mind) health, I read The Lord of the Rings for my second time. The first one was during those years in which Jackson’s movies were a revolution for the special effects and overall commitment to a grandiose project (I think he was one of the first, in recent times, who reconsidered movies for cinema theaters to be divided into several chapters). Then, my father bet with me that I was unable to read all the trilogy in one month. Actually, I read it in less time, and I won my prize. Anyway, during 2013 I had the chance to start systematically working on my war studies and philosophy of war (it is from there that intelligence came up, but that was two years later). As SF was already fully operative, I decided to write something I esteemed crazy to be beyond any imagination (and hopefully be extensively read), an “Analytic philosophy of The Lord of the Rings.” It turned to be an entire enquiring on the issue. It is sufficiently long to be a book. Where did I land with it? Anywhere, specifically. I mean, it is read but not as I imagined. Did I make any money out of it? It is completely free! However, life is always unpredictable and this doesn’t mean is bad. As many times in my life, I start with a project, and after it, I ask myself if other people can be interested in it. That’s how I met Claudio. Indeed, I found (with my personal awe) that many other people studied Tolkien philosophically. Now a PhD in philosophy, Claudio wasn’t just one among many. He was (and is) one of the leading scholars on Tolkien studies in Italy and even abroad. So, I sent him my text, and he quickly replied (something already astonishing in certain contexts and countries). From that moment on, we developed a warm intellectual friendship. Claudio Testi is a first-class scholar on Tolkien and Thomas Aquinas and formal logic. His books are very carefully written. At the same time, Claudio is also a relentless organizer of talks, conferences, and public discussions. I met him several times in Bologna and Modena, where I was kindly invited by him and Marco Prati (who I take the chance to greets) for presenting my research on the philosophy of war, which were very warmly received with a lengthy Q&A. I can only invite all the readers to discover Claudio’s work. Please feel free to look at the Tomistic Institute, centered in Modena but influential at a national level. Without further ados, it is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Claudio: thank you!
1# How would you present yourself to the readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?
[I believe] one tries to improve the world he lives in both materially and culturally.
I am an entrepreneur and the director of a commercial company with 40 employees. I try to improve materially and socially the environment in which I operate through concrete responsible actions. Meanwhile, as an intellectual, I know that knowledge for knowledge’s sake is human beings’ greatest activity. As it is useless, it is really free. For this reason, along with other friends, I founded Philosophical Institute of Tomistic Studies (in 1988) [Istituto Filosofico di Studi Tomistici] and the Italian Association of Tolkien Studies (in 2014) [Associazione Italiana per gli Studi Tolkeniani], in which I hold executive positions.
As our readers know, one of the missions of Intelligence & Interview is to bolster the debate on intelligence and security services all around the world. This is particularly true in Europe, in which we are inside the same community, but there is still no unified intelligence. For this simple reason, I believe it would be imperative to know more about each country and each institutional and historical experience. The diversity of European history should be a strength in a world in which the challenges are so global, whether we like it or not. Since I started studying philosophy during secondary school, I had the chance to dive into the Dutch philosophers, historians, and Dutch history. Since then, I deeply appreciated such a great country, which was and is at the forefront of all human thought, science, and art. (And they had always had great chess players as well!) For this reason, moving to the present, I had the pleasure to discover how different European intelligence services are, and this interview will bring you to a better understanding of Dutch intelligence directly from a practitioner with a scientific background. Paul Abels is Professor by special appointment in Governance of Intelligence and Security Services at Leiden University. It is a real honor for me. Without further ados, it is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Paul: thank you!
1. Professor Paul Abels, let’s start from the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the International readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?
I am what you could call a practitioner with scientific background and affinity. I studied history, wrote a PhD on ‘radical reformation in the 16th century’, worked as a journalist and during the last 37 years first as an intelligence producer at the Dutch Intelligence and Security Service and after that as an intelligence consumer, being head of the analysis department of the office of the National Coordinator on Counter-Terrorism and Security (NCTV). In 2017 I became a policy adviser in the same office and started for one day a week as a special professor on the subject of Governance of Intelligence and Security Services at the University of Leiden.
Tommaso d’Aquino, Pavel Florenskij ed Emanuele Severino, pur avendo nella contraddizione un nucleo speculativo comune, non si erano mai incontrati al medesimo crocevia. Infatti, per quanto il pensiero tomista e quello severiniano si sono rivolti da subito attenzioni e critiche reciproche, l’interesse di questi due filoni per il filosofo russo è praticamente nullo.
Oggi più di ieri e domani più di oggi, l’artista contemporaneo deve fare i conti con l’originalità della sua opera, come impone, infatti, l’ingombrante produzione dei suoi predecessori. Provo a spiegarmi meglio con un estremo. Immaginiamo come doveva essere nell’antichità, agli albori di una qualsiasi forma d’arte, quando l’uomo, che con essa andava cimentandosi, proprio perché agli albori, poteva esplorare ampie praterie di novità. Quello che nasceva dalla sua creatività per tutti era originale, certo poteva non piacere, ma non gli si poteva negare l’innovazione.
I’m very happy to host Alessandro Giorgi’s interview on the intelligence operations beyond the Iron Curtain as the first one of 2021! Indeed, I had the pleasure to meet Alessandro several times, when he presented his amazing research on several topics. First, we meet in Milan (ah, I start to get old and feel a certain nostalgia!). He was presenting his (back then) last book on the Vietnam War, which is a passion of mine. I knew about the event because it was sponsored by the Italian Society of Military History, of which Alessandro and I are both members. It was presented in the “sanctuary” of Milanese military history, the Libreria di Storia Militare (a place that I love and I encourage anybody to discover). I was struck by Alessandro’s knowledge, rigor, and… passion. He is one of the best speakers I ever encountered. The second time we met was still in Milan when I first heard his research on intelligence operations beyond the Iron Curtain. And again, I was ruptured by his storytelling. Along with me, there was a young friend of mine. He is a young fighter. Alessandro’s speech so struck him that he felt the need to read more about the Cold War. Then I realized that Giorgi’s really able to reach the heart of anybody who has the pleasure to hear him speak. From that moment on, I was only confirmed about my opinion. And then, I was pleased he readily accepted being part of Intelligence & Interview. Without further ados, it is then with my distinct pleasure to publish the interview on Scuola Filosofica – for those who don’t know it yet; it is one of the leading cultural blogs in Italy. In the name of Scuola Filosofica Team, our readers, and myself, Giangiuseppe Pili, Alessandro: thank you!
1. Alessandro Giorgi, let’s start with the basics. How would you like to present yourself to the national and international readers and Philosophical School (Scuola Filosofica)?