So not so good opportunities for the Asians. I was first attracted to the world of financial technologies in , in the days of the global financial crisis. I was a first-year student of mathematics, fascinated by the quantitative aspects of the crisis. FinTech has made great strides in the last decade, but it still has a range of impending challenges to overcome.
The rapid development of the industry has introduced the need for regulation that preserves public, social and economic interests without discouraging investments. Fintech also faces the crucial challenge of securing its highly sensitive data. Providing more accessibility to information through digitization may maximize efficiency, but ultimately, it also increases vulnerability to security breaches. While meeting the challenges of data security and regulation is vital, the challenge that I personally aim to address is risk management. Computerizing trading and services will require superior, tight-fitting risk management tools.
Automated processes increase operations volume, thereby creating higher risks when there are errors. As such, FinTech enterprises must determine strict boundaries of risk exposures in order to define loss barriers, which are essential to successful long-term performance.
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As a finance mathematician, I am steeped in the finance sector and equipped with the quantitative abilities to analyze and build tools for interpreting its complex data sets. For example, I built an algorithm that priced a complex derivative asset and provided information about risk exposures as a result of trading it. This model helped to choose correctly which assets should be bought in order to hedge the trading activity. Moreover, the skills I acquired as an operations researcher in the Israeli Navy, like data mining and extracting valuable information from data sets, lend themselves readily to risk management.
Later, my goal is to found and manage a FinTech startup company. I believe that my future holds as much potential as Fintech itself. I see FinTech eventually becoming the core of the financial industry as a whole. I started singing at a young age, and my friends and family would ask me to sing for them a lot. At school, I used to sing at all the ceremonies and people would approach me afterward and thank me for the performance. I realized that singing not only made me feel great, but that it created positive feelings for those listening too.
Being able to make others feel good through my talent built my confidence, brought me joy, and fueled my creativity.
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Singing even brought me my first opportunity to become a community leader. Along with singing in folk groups since junior high, I had always been a member of the Scouts — a youth organization for social responsibility and volunteerism. At age 17, I participated in the Scouts — a national youth organization — and was selected to open a new troop in an economically disadvantaged area, typically associated with poverty and crime. My first challenge was to attract enough neighborhood kids to open the troop. I knew singing was fun and low cost — so kids with economic hardships could join easily without worrying about costs associated with other activities like football or basketball.
I also knew that nothing draws a crowd like voices united in song. I encouraged the kids to take the activity seriously by recruiting professional soundmen and musicians to accompany them for free. I could see their pride increasing as they brought their family members to watch our practices, and at their suggestion, we started giving performances at local retirement homes and daycares. I know that some were committed by the Republicans, and far more they are still continuing by the Fascists.
But what impressed me then, and has impressed me ever since, is that atrocities are believed in or disbelieved in solely on grounds of political predilection. Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence. Recently I drew up a table of atrocities during the period between and the present; there was never a year when atrocities were not occurring somewhere or other, and there was hardly a single case when the Left and the Right believed in the same stories simultaneously.
And stranger yet, at any moment the situation can suddenly reverse itself and yesterday's proved-to-the-hilt atrocity story can become a ridiculous lie, merely because the political landscape has changed. In the same period the Right, the atrocity-mongers of , were gazing at Nazi Germany and flatly refusing to see any evil in it. Then as soon as war broke out it was the pro-Nazis of yesterday who were repeating horror stories, while the anti-Nazis suddenly found themselves doubting whether the Gestapo really existed.
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Nor was this solely the result of the Russo-German Pact. It was partly because before the war the Left had wrongly believed that Britain and Germany would never fight and were therefore able to be anti-German and anti-British simultaneously; partly also because official war-propaganda, with its disgusting hypocrisy and self-righteousness, always tends to make thinking people sympathize with the enemy. Part of the price we paid for the systematic lying of was the exaggerated pro-German reaction which followed. During the years you were hooted at in left-wing circles if you suggested that Germany bore even a fraction of responsibility for the war.
So also with atrocities. The truth, it is felt, becomes untruth when your enemy utters it. Recently I noticed that the very people who swallowed any and every horror story about the Japanese in Nanking in refused to believe exactly the same stories about Hong Kong in There was even a tendency to feel that the Nanking atrocities had become, as it were, retrospectively untrue because the British Government now drew attention to them.
But unfortunately the truth about atrocities is far worse than that they are lied about and made into propaganda. The truth is that they happen. The fact often adduced as a reason for scepticism — that the same horror stories come up in war after war — merely makes it rather more likely that these stories are true. Evidently they are widespread fantasies, and war provides an opportunity of putting them into practice.
There is not the slightest doubt, for instance, about the behaviour of the Japanese in China. Nor is there much doubt about the long tale of Fascist outrages during the last ten years in Europe. The volume of testimony is enormous, and a respectable proportion of it comes from the German press and radio. These things really happened, that is the thing to keep one's eye on. They happened even though Lord Halifax said they happened.
The raping and butchering in Chinese cities, the tortures in the cellars of the Gestapo, the elderly Jewish professors flung into cesspools, the machine-gunning of refugees along the Spanish roads — they all happened, and they did not happen any the less because the Daily Telegraph has suddenly found out about them when it is five years too late. Two memories, the first not proving anything in particular, the second, I think, giving one a certain insight into the atmosphere of a revolutionary period:. Early one morning another man and I had gone out to snipe at the Fascists in the trenches outside Huesca.
Their line and ours here lay three hundred yards apart, at which range our aged rifles would not shoot accurately, but by sneaking out to a spot about a hundred yards from the Fascist trench you might, if you were lucky, get a shot at someone through a gap in the parapet. Unfortunately the ground between was a flat beet field with no cover except a few ditches, and it was necessary to go out while it was still-dark and return soon after dawn, before the light became too good.
This time no Fascists appeared, and we stayed too long and were caught by the dawn. We were in a ditch, but behind us were two hundred yards of flat ground with hardly enough cover for a rabbit. We were still trying to nerve ourselves to make a dash for it when there was an uproar and a blowing of whistles in the Fascist trench. Some of our aeroplanes were coming over. At this moment, a man presumably carrying a message to an officer, jumped out of the trench and ran along the top of the parapet in full view.
He was half-dressed and was holding up his trousers with both hands as he ran. I refrained from shooting at him. It is true that I am a poor shot and unlikely to hit a running man at a hundred yards, and also that I was thinking chiefly about getting back to our trench while the Fascists had their attention fixed on the aeroplanes.
Still, I did not shoot partly because of that detail about the trousers. What does this incident demonstrate? Nothing very much, because it is the kind of thing that happens all the time in all wars. The other is different. I don't suppose that in telling it I can make it moving to you who read it, but I ask you to believe that it is moving to me, as an incident characteristic of the moral atmosphere of a particular moment in time.
One of the recruits who joined us while I was at the barracks was a wild-looking boy from the back streets of Barcelona. He was ragged and barefooted. He was also extremely dark Arab blood, I dare say , and made gestures you do not usually see a European make; one in particular — the arm outstretched, the palm vertical — was a gesture characteristic of Indians. One day a bundle of cigars, which you could still buy dirt cheap at that time, was stolen out of my bunk.
Rather foolishly I reported this to the officer, and one of the scallywags I have already mentioned promptly came forward and said quite untruly that twenty-five pesetas had been stolen from his bunk. For some reason the officer instantly decided that the brown-faced boy must be the thief. They were very hard on stealing in the militia, and in theory people could be shot for it. The wretched boy allowed himself to be led off to the guardroom to be searched.
What most struck me was that he barely attempted to protest his innocence. In the fatalism of his attitude you could see the desperate poverty in which he had been bred. The officer ordered him to take his clothes off. With a humility which was horrible to me he stripped himself naked, and his clothes were searched. Of course neither the cigars nor the money were there; in fact he had not stolen them. What was most painful of all was that he seemed no less ashamed after his innocence had been established.
That night I took him to the pictures and gave him brandy and chocolate. But that too was horrible — I mean the attempt to wipe out an injury with money. For a few minutes I had half believed him to be a thief, and that could not be wiped out. Well, a few weeks later at the front I had trouble with one of the men in my section.
It was static warfare, horribly cold, and the chief job was getting sentries to stay awake at their posts. One day a man suddenly refused to go to a certain post, which he said quite truly was exposed to enemy fire. He was a feeble creature, and I seized hold of him and began to drag him towards his post.
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This roused the feelings of the others against me, for Spaniards, I think, resent being touched more than we do. Let that man go! This isn't a bourgeois army. As best I could in my bad Spanish I shouted back that orders had got to be obeyed, and the row developed into one of those enormous arguments by means of which discipline is gradually hammered out in revolutionary armies. Some said I was right, others said I was wrong. But the point is that the one who took my side the most warmly of all was the brown-faced boy. As soon as he saw what was happening he sprang into the ring and began passionately defending me.
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Later on he applied for leave to exchange into my section. Why is this incident touching to me? Because in any normal circumstances it would have been impossible for good feelings ever to be re-established between this boy and myself. The implied accusation of theft would not have been made any better, probably somewhat worse, by my efforts to make amends. One of the effects of safe and civilized life is an immense oversensitiveness which makes all the primary emotions seem somewhat disgusting.
Generosity is as painful as meanness, gratitude as hateful as ingratitude.
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But in Spain in we were not living in a normal time. It was a time when generous feelings and gestures were easier than they ordinarily are. Could you feel friendly towards somebody, and stick up for him in a quarrel, after you had been ignominiously searched in his presence for property you were supposed to have stolen from him? No, you couldn't; but you might if you had both been through some emotionally widening experience.
That is one of the by-products of revolution, though in this case it was only the beginnings of a revolution, and obviously foredoomed to failure. The struggle for power between the Spanish Republican parties is an unhappy, far-off thing which I have no wish to revive at this date. I only mention it in order to say: believe nothing, or next to nothing, of what you read about internal affairs on the Government side.
It is all, from whatever source, party propaganda — that is to say, lies. The broad truth about the war is simple enough.
The Spanish bourgeoisie saw their chance of crushing the labour movement, and took it, aided by the Nazis and by the forces of reaction all over the world. It is doubtful whether more than that will ever be established. We were both thinking of totalitarianism in general, but more particularly of the Spanish civil war. Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie.
I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as the heroes of imaginary victories; and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. Yet in a way, horrible as all this was, it was unimportant.
It concerned secondary issues — namely, the struggle for power between the Comintern and the Spanish left-wing parties, and the efforts of the Russian Government to prevent revolution in Spain. But the broad picture of the war which the Spanish Government presented to the world was not untruthful. The main issues were what it said they were.
But as for the Fascists and their backers, how could they come even as near to the truth as that? How could they possibly mention their real aims? Their version of the war was pure fantasy, and in the circumstances it could not have been otherwise. The only propaganda line open to the Nazis and Fascists was to represent themselves as Christian patriots saving Spain from a Russian dictatorship.
This involved pretending that life in Government Spain was just one long massacre vide the Catholic Herald or the Daily Mail — but these were child's play compared with the Continental Fascist press , and it involved immensely exaggerating the scale of Russian intervention.postdollarworld.com/map10.php
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Out of the huge pyramid of lies which the Catholic and reactionary press all over the world built up, let me take just one point — the presence in Spain of a Russian army. Devout Franco partisans all believed in this; estimates of its strength went as high as half a million.
Now, there was no Russian army in Spain. There may have been a handful of airmen and other technicians, a few hundred at the most, but an army there was not. Some thousands of foreigners who fought in Spain, not to mention millions of Spaniards, were witnesses of this. Well, their testimony made no impression at all upon the Franco propagandists, not one of whom had set foot in Government Spain. I have chosen to mention only one point, but in fact the whole of Fascist propaganda about the war was on this level.
This kind of thing is frightening to me, because it often gives me the feeling that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. After all, the chances are that those lies, or at any rate similar lies, will pass into history. How will the history of the Spanish war be written? If Franco remains in power his nominees will write the history books, and to stick to my chosen point that Russian army which never existed will become historical fact, and schoolchildren will learn about it generations hence.
But suppose Fascism is finally defeated and some kind of democratic government restored in Spain in the fairly near future; even then, how is the history of the war to be written? What kind of records will Franco have left behind him? Suppose even that the records kept on the Government side are recoverable — even so, how is a true history of the war to be written?
For, as I have pointed out already, the Government, also dealt extensively in lies. From the anti-Fascist angle one could write a broadly truthful history of the war, but it would be a partisan history, unreliable on every minor point. Yet, after all, some kind of history will be written, and after those who actually remember the war are dead, it will be universally accepted. So for all practical purposes the lie will have become truth. I know it is the fashion to say that most of recorded history is lies anyway.
I am willing to believe that history is for the most part inaccurate and biased, but what is peculiar to our own age is the abandonment of the idea that history could be truthfully written. And in practice there was always a considerable body of fact which would have been agreed to by almost everyone. If you look up the history of the last war in, for instance, the Encyclopaedia Britannica , you will find that a respectable amount of the material is drawn from German sources. A British and a German historian would disagree deeply on many things, even on fundamentals, but there would still be that body of, as it were, neutral fact on which neither would seriously challenge the other.
It is just this common basis of agreement, with its implication that human beings are all one species of animal, that totalitarianism destroys. The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If he says that two and two are five — well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs — and after our experiences of the last few years that is not a frivolous statement. But is it perhaps childish or morbid to terrify oneself with visions of a totalitarian future?
Before writing off the totalitarian world as a nightmare that can't come true, just remember that in the world of today would have seemed a nightmare that couldn't come true. Against that shifting phantasmagoric world in which black may be white tomorrow and yesterday's weather can be changed by decree, there are in reality only two safeguards. One is that however much you deny the truth, the truth goes on existing, as it were, behind your back, and you consequently can't violate it in ways that impair military efficiency.
The other is that so long as some parts of the earth remain unconquered, the liberal tradition can be kept alive. Let Fascism, or possibly even a combination of several Fascisms, conquer the whole world, and those two conditions no longer exist. We in England underrate the danger of this kind of thing, because our traditions and our past security have given us a sentimental belief that it all comes right in the end and the thing you most fear never really happens. Nourished for hundreds of years on a literature in which Right invariably triumphs in the last chapter, we believe half-instinctively that evil always defeats itself in the long run.
Pacifism, for instance, is founded largely on this belief. Don't resist evil, and it will somehow destroy itself. But why should it? What evidence is there that it does? And what instance is there of a modern industrialized state collapsing unless conquered from the outside by military force? Consider for instance the re-institution of slavery. Who could have imagined twenty years ago that slavery would return to Europe? Well, slavery has been restored under our noses. The forced-labour camps all over Europe and North Africa where Poles, Russians, Jews and political prisoners of every race toil at road-making or swamp-draining for their bare rations, are simple chattle slavery.
The most one can say is that the buying and selling of slaves by individuals is not yet permitted. In other ways — the breaking-up of families, for instance — the conditions are probably worse than they were on the American cotton plantations. There is no reason for thinking that this state of affairs will change while any totalitarian domination endures. We don't grasp its full implications, because in our mystical way we feel that a regime founded on slavery must collapse.
But it is worth comparing the duration of the slave empires of antiquity with that of any modern state. Civilizations founded on slavery have lasted for such periods as four thousand years. When I think of antiquity, the detail that frightens me is that those hundreds of millions of slaves on whose backs civilization rested generation after generation have left behind them no record whatever. We do not even know their names. I can think of two, or possibly three. One is Spartacus and the other is Epictetus.
I have a mental picture of poor Felix a Gaul with red hair and a metal collar round his neck , but in fact he may not have been a slave; so there are only two slaves whose names I definitely know, and probably few people can remember more. The rest have gone down into utter silence. The backbone of the resistance against Franco was the Spanish working class, especially the urban trade union members.
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