first_imgOnly by the most egregious twisting of terms could one call what these scientists did “evolution.”“Directed evolution” is a contradiction in terms. It’s like conjuring up visions of “natural voting” or “unguided targeting.” It’s like “blind sight” or “deaf hearing.” If terms mean anything, what Marcos Alcocer says in The Conversation is absurd, or dishonest, like defending Orwell’s 1984 slogan, “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.”The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 has been awarded to three researchers for their work on “harnessing the power of evolution” to create compounds that are of benefit to humanity. One half of the nine million Swedish kronor (£770,686) prize will go to the American Frances Arnold from the California Institute of Technology, US. The other half will go jointly to the American George Smith from the University of Missouri, US, and the Brit Gregory Winter from the MRC lab in Cambridge, UK.Their work centres on techniques of “directed evolution” – a method which imitates natural selection. This can help to create new powerful proteins that achieve specific tasks.This critique intends no disparagement of the prize winners, who evidently “transformed research and saved lives.” But they didn’t do it by evolution. They did it by intelligent design.And yet all the media, Nature included, are framing this win as a victory for ‘natural selection’ theory. Nature allows this ignorant statement from Sweden:During the prize announcement, Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry 2018, noted the benefits of the researchers’ work for humanity: “Our laureates have applied principles of Darwin in the test tubes, and used this approach to develop new types of chemicals for the greatest benefit of humankind.”What the winners achieved had absolutely nothing to do with Charles Darwin’s theory. To really mimic Darwin’s ‘natural selection,’ the winners would have turned out the lights, walked out the door, and let stuff happen. The moment they made an observation and selected something on purpose, they murdered Darwinism.The media, however, continue mixing Darwin with design, mixing darkness with light. Live Science says, “Chemistry Nobel Awarded to Scientists for Taking the Reins on Evolution.” The moment anyone takes the reins on evolution, stuff stops happening by chance. Intelligence takes over. Darwin-worshiping reporter Yasemin Saplakoglu turns out the lights of logic, making evolution out to be a creative genius:Every living organism on this planet is a sculpture of evolution. Now, evolution is also unfolding in the lab.This year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their work in harnessing the power of evolution for a variety of applications that benefit humankind. These new applications helped create biofuels, pharmaceuticals and antibodies that fight disease.A Long History of FallacyHere it is 2018, and this blatant fallacy is still being promoted. Darwin famously used ‘artificial selection’ as a stepping-stone to ‘natural selection,’ which is its polar opposite. You can’t get there from here. Darwin’s contemporary John Herschel called natural selection the “law of higgledy-piggledy,” showing that he understood ‘natural selection’ to be equivalent to ‘stuff happens.’ In the 1980s, Carl Sagan popularized the same grand fallacy by leaping from spectacular examples of artificial selection to natural selection, (paraphrasing), ‘If artificial selection can achieve such amazing changes in just a few years, how much more must natural selection be able to accomplish, given millions of years?’Seeing design in nature, Darwin was trying to achieve it without a Designer, by ascribing creative power to the Stuff Happens Law, which is the opposite of what breeders do. Breeders have a goal. They can role the dice, but they know what they want, and they steer variation toward it. Doug Axe exposes the fallacy at Evolution News, showing that the Nobel Prize was a vindication of intelligent design, not evolution. Nature cannot ‘select’ what does not already exist, he argues. And the word ‘selection’ itself implies a Selector. A philosophical naturalist cannot personify nature as a selector. Selection is not natural; it is a choice made on purpose by an intelligent agent. Even a robot playing ‘Maxwell’s Demon’ (21 Sept 2018) makes a selection based on choice programmed by its designer.Can the Fallacy Be Rationalized?Perhaps their idea of ‘directed evolution’ could be defended metaphorically, the way we use oxymoronic language to refer to ‘black light,’ realizing that ultraviolet radiation is not really black, but just invisible to human retinas. We know that UV light is just as ‘real’ as white light, and would appear bright to a creature able to perceive that part of the electromagnetic spectrum. That’s not what is happening here. The media are specifically referring to Darwin’s principles being employed by the prize winners. It’s not a stylistic oxymoron, used for effect; it’s illogically sophoxymoronic.Maybe the media expect us to see part Darwinism and part design, giving some credit to both. Darwin can have the mutations, and ID can make the selections. Alcocer tries that angle, but it doesn’t wash, because the media portray what the winners did as the same essential process used by their material view of nature to evolve human beings without any intelligent guidance:One of the most crucial characteristics of evolving organisms – life as we know it – is the ability to replicate and mutate. All organisms can make copies of their genes and undergo changes that are passed to their progeny. In other words, we are totally dependent of evolving chemicals.Arnold’s work focused on the directed evolution of enzymes – proteins that accelerate chemical reactions. Because they are so useful, scientists had long tried to create enzymes with desired properties artificially, but with little success.Arnold – who is the fifth to join an important group of women to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry – instead developed a method to produce mutations in the genes that produced certain enzymes in order to select the best ones. Different mutations will produce slightly different versions of the enzyme in each cell so, over time, one can select the one which works the best for a specific task.Arnold’s discovery was hugely important – creating a completely new way to design and produce pharmaceuticals and renewable fuels for a greener transport sector.No ExcusesThe logical flaw in “directed evolution” cannot be overemphasized, because Big Science (BS) and Big Media (BM) are using the Nobel Prize announcement to promote a serious fallacy to a largely unwary readership, who are being led to believe that Darwin’s theory is bearing good fruit in our day. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Darwin envisioned a world of blind, pitiless indifference, where stuff happened in random directions, and nobody was around to care (see “Time to Ditch Natural Selection?”, 3 October 2015). To the extent that these prize winners acted out of compassion to advance human health and well-being, they illustrate the image of God in man, not the image of Darwin.Glorifying Darwin for what these scientists achieved using design is like awarding a Pulitzer Prize to a plagiarist. No; worse. It’s like putting a crown on a dirt pile and calling it a god. I’m honestly having a hard time coming up with an analogy for how rotten this reasoning is. Help me out; send your idea in the comments. (Visited 731 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The road to National FFA Office is as high-stakes as one would imagine. OCJ FFA Reporter Meredith Oglesby sits down with Ohio’s National FFA Officer candidate, Kolesen McCoy to talk about his journey to National Office.last_img

first_imgYou know the feeling you get when your 2-year mobile contract is up and you start thinking about what kind of new smartphone or tablet you can justify buying? It’s almost like being a kid in November knowing Christmas is coming soon.That was how I felt as the service contract for my Motorola Xoom tablet was set to expire in January. I thought I wanted an iPad this time, but the cost seemed too high.  Even though I am a long-time Verizon customer and I was “upgrading” at the end of my Verizon contract, there was no discount offered on the device. I didn’t see a way to make it happen.Until one came along.Flush With CashSome unexpected checks came in to my business. A client that hadn’t paid in a while brought their payables up to date. A big project we’d just completed paid early. So we brought up the idea of buying an iPad for all three members of our team (we had done without a Holiday bonus last year).But which iPad? A friend – and certified Apple fanatic – had recommended the 32GB iPad with retina display and 4G cellular service. He called it the gateway to Apple fandom. We had a spare 45 minutes before a lunch appointment, and being a spontaneous bunch, we decided to check out tablets for ourselves at a local store. We had no intention to buy so we headed to a the nearest one, which happened to be an AT&T store.The minute we walked in the door a salesperson approached. I waved him off, saying we were just looking. He hovered anyway.We compared the iPad mini to the full-size version and decided we needed the bigger tablet, just as my friend had suggested. But the cost – $729.99 – seemed too high. That just seemed unjustifiable.But suddenly, good things started happening. Related Posts rieva lesonsky How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … How to Get Started in China and Have Success $100 Off Was An Unexpected TreatThe salesman, sensing my mix of desire and reluctance, offered to take $100 off the price!That was not expected – especially after my Verizon conversation. I was tempted, but smelling the chance for a deal, I shifted into flea-market mode (I spent a lot of time in my teen years with my dad selling men’s shirts — he owned a men’s clothing store — at a Long Island flea market). I asked the salesman what he could do for us if we bought three iPads?He offered $100 off each device. No better than for one.My significant other says I’m a sucker for a bargain — even if it’s not really a good deal. So I decided that wasn’t good enough. “Is there anything else you can do?” I asked sweetly, expecting nothing.Service Credits Count, TooBut he surprised us and offered an additional $300 credit on mobile service for the three devices. The $600 savings had me hooked, but then, I’m an easy mark.I turned to my far more thrifty and level-headed partner for an opinion. (I felt like I was in an “of course we should buy the timeshare in Hawaii” mode.) She thought for about 30 seconds… and agreed. She reasoned that the $600 savings was nearly equivalent to a whole free iPad.Of course we couldn’t stop there. We also bought keyboard cases (we are writers after all) for all three iPads and their associated 2-year contracts. So the store made made back some of the discount before we walked out the door.Lessons Learned Worth More Than The SavingsIs this the way responsible business owners should make purchasing decisions? Probably not.But there are some worthwhile lessons for entrepreneurs here:Do your homework before you set foot in a store or go to a website to make a purchase. That way even if you do make an impulse buy, at least you’ll be making a more informed decision.Be open to doing business with vendors you haven’t worked with before.It’s OK to play hard to get, and don’t be afraid to haggle.On the flip side, it’s a good idea to empower your own salespeople to make quick decisions to close the deal. We never would have bought the iPads if the AT&T salesman hadn’t offered the discounts.After only three days of using my iPad, I love it. It’s intuitive, easy-to use, and could indeed be a gateway device turning me into a tablet junkie.AT&T Store image courtesy of Jason Dunn. What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… Tags:#AT&T#e-commerce#iPad#verizon last_img read more

first_imgTags:#deep work#productivity#shallow work Stephan Spencer Related Posts There’s so much happening in the world right now. It’s easy to forget that we’re living through a major upheaval in the way we work and live. In fact, being constantly distracted by the latest political scandal or viral video is part of the problem: with so many shiny objects constantly vying for our attention, we’ve forgotten the benefits of deep concentration and given up some of our brainpower for the cheap thrills of the internet. We live in the shallows, constantly flitting from one diversion to the next, never stopping long enough to really get a handle on the bigger questions in our work, our relationships, or even our lives.“Who cares,” you might say. “So what if I’m addicted to my phone? So is everyone else.”True. But consider this: a lot of the menial administrative tasks you do in your job are likely to be automated in the near future.If you’re an employee, contractor, or even a small business owner, you will soon be competing with AI bots who can work more quickly and cheaply than you ever could.Those who survive in the new economy will be the ones who can offer the kind of value that computers can’t: profound and counterintuitive insights, unique skillsets, and remarkable flexibility.You can’t get any of those things by downloading an app.Those who survive will have moved out of the shallows and embraced deep work.What is Deep Work?The concept of deep work comes from productivity expert and professor Cal Newport, who published a book titled Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.In the book, Newport explains that there are two types of work.Shallow work, which he defines as “non-cognitive, logistical” or minor duties performed in a state of distraction, and deep work, which he defines as “professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.”Most people spend their days doing shallow work, and it’s often these low-value tasks that keep us from more important, higher-value work. For example, have you ever been trying to focus on a big project and been distracted by a trivial email that you felt you needed to respond to immediately?Obviously, it is incredibly difficult to completely remove these types of distractions from your life, especially in the modern office environment. And, there’s a major reason why we’re more attracted to these types of tasks: they’re quick and easy and give us a sense of accomplishment. In the long term, however, they’re holding us back from bigger career and life goals.So, what can you do about it?Diving inDeep work isn’t about working harder or longer. It’s about working smarter. Ideally, deep work is about transforming your workdays from a random series of reactive events and chaotic busyness into a well-oiled schedule that allows you to prioritize the highest-value tasks.Deep work is more than just a set of good habits. It’s a skill that needs to be learned. As Cal said when I interviewed him for my podcast, “the ability to perform deep work well is a skill that must be trained. It’s like playing the guitar—something you wouldn’t expect to be good at, unless you actually practiced and trained for a long period of time. It’s important to emphasize that because a lot of people think about deep work more like a habit, such as flossing their teeth.”That might sound scary, but it isn’t. Here are four simple steps you can take to begin a deep work regime today:Step 1: Schedule time for deep workReclaiming your focus means exercising control over your schedule. Start planning out your weeks and block out sections of time for deep work. How you do it is completely up to you. Some people prefer to alternate between sessions of deep work and more menial tasks on a single day, while others will block out multiple days in a row in order to achieve serious concentration.The most important thing to remember is that you’re training yourself to reach a state of deep concentration, so you need to be disciplined in sticking to your routine. Step 2: Create a distraction-free environment  Distractions come in all shapes and sizes, from phones to co-workers to kids—and you’re going to want to get rid of them all!If you work in an open plan office, consider booking a private room or working from home if you can. If the internet is a problem for you, switch off your phone and disconnect your laptop. Stick to pen and paper or even go to the local library if you have to, just make sure you have a clear and calm environment that facilitates deep concentration.It also helps to associate a particular location with deep work, for example a different office, or even a completely different building.Step 3: Embrace rest and relaxationDeep work isn’t just about cutting out distractions so you can focus on big projects. It’s also about getting a good night’s rest and turning up to work refreshed and relaxed. When you leave the office, avoid the temptation of answering emails or working late into the night.It’s important to give your body and brain time to recuperate. Instead, spend your free time exploring your hobbies or focusing on your family and friends.Step 4: Make yourself accountableDeep work is about more than “getting Zen” at the office. It’s about improving your productivity, especially when it comes to high-value goals. If you don’t get anything finished, then there’s no point in upending your current work schedule. Create metrics to measure your productivity, and if you can, hold weekly review sessions to keep track of your progress.The superpower of the 21st centuryI agree with Cal when he says that deep work is “the superpower of the 21st century.”As algorithms and robots take on more and more of the menial everyday tasks that keep businesses running, employers and clients are going to be looking to those who can provide real value to their bottom line. That means those who have trained themselves in the art of serious critical reflection.It’s time to dive in to the deep end and tap into your deep work superman or superwoman. If you don’t, you’ll only be left behind. 4 Ways You Can Make Your Workplace an Engine of… Stephan is an internationally recognized SEO Expert, author, blogger professional speaker, consultant, and founder of Netconcepts. A Review of Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucas Uber vs Lyft: Battling for Supremacy CEOs in Troubled Waters (with Myriam Joire from…last_img read more

first_imgRajasthan Police has arrested Indra Bishnoi, who has been evading arrest for the last six years in the sensational Bhanwari Devi murder case, in Madhya Pradesh. The case had grabbed headlines in 2011 after the name of the then Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna cropped up in connection with the murder of Bhanwari, an auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM). “A Rajasthan police team with the help of Madhya Pradesh police arrested Indra Bishnoi from Nemawar area last night,” Additional Superintendent of Police (Dewas) Anil Patidar told PTI on Saturday. She reportedly carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh on her head. According to police sources, she was living with a family in Nemawar as a destitute. The CBI has so far filed three charge sheets against 17 accused including Maderna and former Congress MLA Malkhan Singh. Among the accused, 15 were in judicial custody, one was out on bail while Bishnoi was absconding. Bhanwari, posted as auxiliary nurse midwife at a sub- centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from Jodhpur, had gone missing on September 1, 2011. She disappeared after a CD allegedly showing Maderna in compromising position with the 36-year-old nurse was aired by some news channels. The CBI had said that Bhanwari was allegedly abducted from Jodhpur’s Bilara area on September 1, 2011 and murdered. Her body was handed over to another gang which burnt it in a limestone quarry and dumped the remains in a canal, it alleged. Maderna (65), who then represented the Osian assembly constituency, was arrested on December 2, 2011 in Jodhpur by the CBI along with Parasram Bishnoi, brother of Malkhan Singh.last_img read more

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Dillinger missed the finals against Ginebra due to a hamstring injury.The Bolts won the two teams’ lone duel in the elimination round, 93-78, in a game where the Gin Kings blew a double-digit lead in the first half.Game 1 of their best-of-7 series is on Friday at Quezon Convention Center in Lucena.“It’s going to be tough, it’s going to be rough,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.“You all better believe that this is going to be war. We’re just excited at this point. I’m not sleeping. I woke up at 3 a.m. and I’m ready to go,” Dillinger said. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH05:38San Miguel, Ginebra expect long, gruelling PBA Finals series01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  LATEST STORIES BPC award the least of concerns for Slaughter, Newsome Read Next “As much as we want to have a short series, two tough teams will battle and I think it’s going to be a long one,” Ginebra playmaker LA Tenorio told reporters during the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals press conference Tuesday.“Two great teams, two great coaches. It’s going to be a long, hard-fought series,” said Ginebra import Justin Brownlee, whose buzzer-beating triple won the last season’s title for the Gin Kings in Game 6.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Bolts and Kings are loaded with firepower but they are also known for being two of the best defensive teams in the league.And Meralco head coach Norman Black thinks the game will be won on the defensive end. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary “I know they’re capable of scoring 100 points and we are too, but I expect this to be a defensive struggle for how many games it will go,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black.Meralco is No. 1 in points allowed with an average of 88.8 points per game while Ginebra is in fifth at 96.7.The finals is a sequel, but a lot has changed since.Ginebra now has Greg Slaughter, who just returned from a knee injury at the start of the conference, and rookie Kevin Ferrer.Meralco also had a major upgrade in adding veteran forward Ranidel de Ocampo, rookie Mike Tolomia and guard Garvo Lanete via trades while also welcoming back key player Jared Dillinger.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight PBA IMAGESIn a Finals series pitting two evenly-matched teams, Games 5, 6 and 7 will be necessary.At least that’s the consensus among players and coaches from both Barangay Ginebra and Meralco ahead of their championship rematch.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

first_img3 IS-linked gunmen slain in Maguindanao offensives Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting “This kind of gathering is our way to spend quality time with each other. This is our way to inspire other athletes, tighten our bond, and learn from each other.”Sangiao added the titles won by his fighters are the result of hard work, dedication and sacrifice.“It’s our biggest year. We won championship titles and received many awards this year. This is the result of our hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. Like we always say, this is our passion. We love what we do. These awards and titles are just the fruit of our hard labor,” said Sangiao.Champion or not, Eustaquio said what’s more important is each one of them is happy.“We are grateful for every year. We are always full of joy,” Eustaquio stated. “Seeing each other happy, seeing everyone living a peaceful life is more than enough.”ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Duterte urged to order review of all power deals with generation firms Comelec disputes PCIJ report on voter turnout in Lanao del Sur town SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion “We have an early celebration coming up this Saturday, 15 December. We are going to have a beach house party in San Juan, La Union,” said ONE flyweight champion Geje Eustaquio.“The gathering will celebrate our accomplishments this 2018, and also prepare for 2019. Everybody will come that day, most notably our professional athletes.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefTeam Lakay’s celebration is also an opportunity for Folayang, Eustaquio, bantamweight king Kevin Belingon and strawweight titleholder Joshua Pacio to share their experiences and journey to the top of their respective divisions.“We have a program, a feast, and an open mat for whoever wants to roll. Our world champions will share their experience and tell what they went through this year,” Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao said. Top 10 finishers in 1st PH OCR Open earn national team pool slots Fans are in a frenzy as Netflix reveals that Henry Cavill is coming to Manila Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparc Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ Photo from ONE ChampionshipTeam Lakay has a ton of reasons to celebrate for after four of its top fighters earned world titles this year with Eduard Folayang capping it off by reclaiming the ONE lightweight crown last month.And there’s no better time to celebrate the victories than the Yuletide season.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

first_imgAston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton: Embrace top 2 testby Paul Vegasa day agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton says they must embrace their upcoming two games.Villa travel to reigning champions Manchester City on Saturday before hosting current leaders Liverpool the following weekend.Goalkeeper Heaton said: “They are widely regarded as the two best teams in the league and we are playing them back-to-back – that is what the Premier League is all about.“There is no fear or worry there. It is just a hunger to go and embrace the games, to go and put our stamp on them and try and get the wins.“Of course, it is going to be tough. We know how much quality they gave got. They are both great sides.“But we have a lot of quality here. These are the kind of teams you want to go up against. We have seen already this season it can be done. We just want to make sure we give ourselves the best chance.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe final chapter is being written in the saga of Clayton Willey.APTN National News first broke the story back in 2003.Willey was the Aboriginal man beaten and Tasered repeatedly by RCMP in Prince George, B.C.He died hours after being taken into custody.The findings of a formal investigation into Willey’s death have just been released.Willey’s family has been waiting nearly a decade for the report.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith has this story.last_img

first_imgPARIS – The first paying guests to the ground-floor studio flat newly posted on Airbnb were innocuous enough: A family, come to experience the joys of Paris, like many millions of others.Franck Briand, who lives in the apartment directly above, now looks back on that moment as the start of what he calls his Airbnb “nightmare.” The ensuing four years, he says, have been an incessant carousel of late-night parties, drunken revelers and the rattle of newly arrived groups, sometimes 15 at a time, dragging wheeled suitcases across the cobbled courtyard.“I want to leave,” Briand says. “But I said to myself that it shouldn’t be the weakest, those under threat, who give in.”Paris, long one of the world’s top destinations, is still grateful for the billions of euros (dollars) that tourists pump into the French capital’s economy and the 300,000 jobs they sustain. But Parisians and City Hall officials also are expressing deep qualms about having so many visitors directly in their midst, no longer largely corralled in hotels but instead living, albeit temporarily, cheek-by-jowl with locals in properties rented online.The backlash in Paris against intrusive, on-your-doorstep tourism hasn’t yet reached the proportions of other heavily visited cities. Venice and Barcelona, among other destinations, have seen repeated protests. But concerns voiced in top European destinations are often the same: That mass tourism and its online platforms are hollowing cities out, driving away locals with higher prices, higher rents and sheer inconvenience.Jacques Boutault, mayor of Paris’ central 2nd arrondissement, is among those sounding the alarm. The rectangular district he oversees, boxed in by some of the city’s must-visit sites, including the Pompidou art museum, has experienced a precipitous population decline as Airbnb has taken Paris by storm, with more listings than any other city worldwide.“The population is changing completely, from those who have been here for years to one that is just passing through,” says Boutault, the district mayor since 2001. The 2nd arrondissement has lost 3,000 inhabitants in the past four years, more than 10 per cent of its total and many of them families, he says. The district’s schools have shut three classes as a result.“I don’t want to be the mayor of a museum, that’s to say pretty walls where people spend a bit of time and then leave,” Boutault says. “It’s important that town centres remain authentic and alive. In fact, that’s what tourists come for.”In 2012, Airbnb had 4,000 Paris-area listings. That surged to more than 40,000 by 2015, when Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky was welcomed at City Hall. Three years on, Airbnb counts 65,000 listings inside Paris alone. But relations with City Hall have soured.Paris Deputy Mayor Ian Brossat, in charge of housing, says the capital has lost 20,000 homes in five years, “homes that were lived in by Parisians but are now populated by tourists. They are no longer homes, they are clandestine hotels.”“Airbnb has veered away from its original model,” he says. “We’ve gone from a sharing economy to a type of predatory economy, with professionals that bought homes, sometimes buildings, in bulk to transform them into cash machines. So our role is to restore some order.”To regulate the growth of Airbnb and similar platforms, Paris has since December required proprietors who list online to register. Parisians are only allowed to rent out the property they actually live in to tourists, and for a total of no more than 120 days a year. Any other Paris residence they may have can’t be rented to tourists at all.But even with inspection teams going door-to-door and fines for the most egregious violators, the rules remain scantily enforced. Brossat is now lobbying for a blanket ban on tourist rentals in central Paris, arguing that home owners in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th arrondissements — “those most impacted by the Airbnb phenomenon,” he says — should still be allowed to rent out spare rooms but not their entire property.Airbnb France, in a statement, called Brossat’s proposal “out of touch with public opinion, divorced from legal reality.” It said renting out properties on Airbnb helps Parisians “boost their income and afford rising living costs in their communities, where housing capacity has failed to meet demand for decades.”More pressure on Airbnb and similar sites is coming with a new housing law about to get parliament’s final blessing. It opens the door for large fines to be levied against sites that host properties not in conformity with French regulations.Brossat expects the law to mark a turning point.“The gentrification of Paris didn’t start with Airbnb. But Airbnb is an accelerator of gentrification,” he said. “The risk is that Paris becomes a city no longer lived in by inhabitants but solely by tourists or foreign investors.”___Oleg Cetinic contributed to this report.last_img read more