Tag Archives: Persia

Powers that were

Consider the stage we are in now and the stage we were in once. We were driven by stories, stories with a centre of truth, but what that truth was, we might never know. Even now as we try to set the new stage to the current state we know about, we are almost desperate to see ourselves better than we are. So what if we go back?

In the age of Ancient times there were the gods, the Greek gods for one. They once made weapons of immense power, Devine weapons. Not because they were simply better to anything we hd then, but because they had an element that is not available now, it never was. The tinkerer (smith) in that company was Hephaestus, he had enough for 5 weapons, 5 choices imbued with that one element making the weapon  hundred times more powerful than anything available at that time. One already existed, the hammer of Hephaestus. It is the weakest of them all, but it already existed. A hammer that can hit any object in exact precision in angle and power. It could also hit another person with the strength of a thousand sledgehammers, it allowed Hephaestus to do what needed to be done. The five weapons were tremendous and Christianity borrowed from these ideas, but they were never theirs and whatever they claimed was nowhere near as powerful. So when we hear speak people about weapons of power, do they know what they mean? The third most powerful weapon is supposed to be the trident of Poseidon, the most powerful one is the bolt of Zeus and the stories seem to collaborate that, but why? Because he is king of the gods? The second most powerful one is the one you might not expect, it is the bident of Hades. Yet why are these weapons so powerful? A man named Erich von Daniken looked into this for years and wrote a massive amount of books on the subject. He started in 1968, I became aware on his books somewhere in the 70’s, in total he sold well over 60 million books spanning over 30 languages. Even as some people (to some degree me too) thinks he goes over the deep end, there is something to be said on this and my book (still writing it) touches on that part. So when the Ancient Greek gods came here (after they made a mess in Persia, now Iran), they had technological advantages, for reasons not that much, but they did. 

They brought the secrets of Celestrium, and more important, they allegedly had access to terahertz radiation devices , a substance we are only now considering to have medical implications. In 2019 Joo-Hiuk Son, Seung Jae Oh, and  Hwayeong Cheon found that ”Terahertz radiation has significant potential in medical diagnosis and treatment because its frequency range corresponds to the characteristic energy of bio molecular motion. Advantageously, terahertz-specific low energy does not cause the ionisation of biomolecules” We can speculate on how healing that source is, but it would seem that. Person in those days could not be hurt by arrows, spears and swords. Yes, this is off the deep end, but we are finally looking at the stories and that is not the only part, the same application on observation and identity safety goes on a much longer road, and we have not even scratched the surface. 

It is George Alexander Gazis who wrote “Homer and the Poetics of Hades”, he gives us Hades as a place of darkness, where even the gods cannot see, and from this he concludes that “Hades remains impenetrable even to the omnipresent Muses”, a point never made in the poem. “In this sense,” he adds, “life and death are equated with seeing and been seen or not seeing and been invisible”; hence, the negative epithets characterising Hades. But this is a common conceptual metaphor, and death is also presented as a journey.” Hades has a landscape as well, and it is shut in by gates, features Gazis does not explore and why would he? Yet now we know that the application of TeraHertz technology would have setbacks, It was not bout the dark, it was about what non-TeraHertz technology would not be able to see at that point, not for 4000 years. 

Is this all speculation? Yes it is, but so are the writings of Homer and Aristotle, we merely accept them as they are old, I wonder what they never considered because no one would in those days, and until recently no one had reason to, yet the clues were always n front of everyone, and I am merely speculating, yet if someone looked at specific maps of what is now Iran, if they were able to look at rock pressures, someone might notice an almost perfect square with sides that were about 3500 metres each side. Did anyone make any connection to the this sizeable amount of pressure and the Ancient Greeks? So what is this about?

As I stated, it is all speculation, but I am taking another gander at the classical writings and the paths no one walked on, because we only now start to get access to the technology that alters the view we now have and that is also a setting we need to have for all new IP, games, movies and TV series. Most of the writings point towards Hades and how he is the weakest of the brothers. Now we see an optional path where he is the loner, the most secretive and optionally right behind Zeus in strength. Does that not alter the perception of a lot of writings? And when we see that some of these speculations do have an acceptable setting of alleged truth, what happens after that? In a factual life we need to get evidence, but the creative IP has a few additional paths at their convenience and they merely need to be original. 

The powers that were can imbue the powers that want to be, they only need to grasp what is readily available out there. 

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Original Greek food

In the Washington Post, the morning newspaper of choice for America (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/food/wp/2017/08/11/as-greek-yogurt-keeps-proliferating-greece-is-getting-protective/), we see an article on yogurt, Maura Judkis shows us the new way to exploit Parmesan, this is by making yogurt and calling it Greek! With “The Ministry of Agriculture has assembled a group that plans to apply to register “Greek yogurt” in the European Union Register as a term with a protected geographical indication (PGI) or protected designation of origin (PDO)“. In this my initial question would be, ‘Why was this not done before?

Greece needs all the value it can get and Greek yogurt is apparently a big one. I love the stuff, but even I was a bit surprised to see the result with “Chobani saw its sales go from just over $3 million to more than $1.1 billion in its first five years“. So the fact that Chobani is not Greek is not in Greece and owned by a Kurd named Hamdi Ulukaya did not raise flags? I reckon this is one smart cookie; he bought the dispensed building from Kraft and turned it into a goldmine. So is Hamdi in a tough spot? I reckon he is. In his defence he is applying the Greek method of making Greek yogurt, so he has validity in his product, unlike the Czech version, which was taken to court and got scolded. Now, he is the part that is in debate. With “Using the term ‘Greek yogurt’ for products produced outside Greece would deceive consumers and would create unfair competition in the E.U. market” we see a valid case. Even as Parmesan is clearly an Italian product and such should be protected, Chobani finds itself in a similar predicament, or do they?

You see, the origin of Greek yogurt is still at times an issue. Even as we accept ‘Yogurt is known from ancient times , since there are reports from the historian Herodotus in 5th century B.C. and the famous doctor Galen, 2nd century A.D. There are also references to Indo culture that present yogurt with honey as the food of the gods

As I look at some of the historic facts, we need to ask questions, because Herodotus was born in Halicarnassus, which was in fact Persian. Some of the historical parts are a little sketchy, yet of that given and from the fact that he had travelled the ‘then’ known world. Where exactly did it come from and was he calling it Greek Yogurt, because he was Greek? In addition, was the art of straining yogurt limited to Greece?

So although Greece clearly has a case trying to protect Greek Yogurt, is this the trap for the product? So when we look at Article 22 of trips, (at https://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/27-trips_04b_e.htm) we see:

Protection of Geographical Indications

  1. Geographical indications are, for the purposes of this Agreement, indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.
  2. In respect of geographical indications, Members shall provide the legal means for interested parties to prevent:

(a) the use of any means in the designation or presentation of a good that indicates or suggests that the good in question originates in a geographical area other than the true place of origin in a manner which misleads the public as to the geographical origin of the good;

(b) any use which constitutes an act of unfair competition within the meaning of Article 10bis of the Paris Convention (1967).

So here we see the protection that Greek Yogurt has or should already have, and that is now the issue of Chobani. In addition, the Washington Post gives me something weird. With “But those rules won’t apply in the United States, where makers are free to label their yogurt as Greek (and where the distance from Greece makes consumer confusion less likely). There are dozens of “Greek” yogurts in grocery stores, from popular brands like Chobani, Yoplait, Dannon and Fage (a Greek company)“, which is an issue, because as a signatory of the WTO, the US should be at the top of enforcing parts of this. Yet with the opposing defence of ‘the distance from Greece makes consumer confusion less likely‘ we see another part of implied American exploitation. It is seen in a paper by Peter Drahos titled ‘Developing Countries and International Intellectual Property Standard-setting‘ (at http://www.anu.edu.au/fellows/pdrahos/reports/pdfs/UKCommIPRS.pdf)

On page 6 we see “For example, a number of corporations from the US, Europe and Japan claiming to represent the international business community released a document in 1989 that indicated strong support for a plurilateral agreement on intellectual property during the Uruguay Round (the mechanism of modeling). Australia supported the US position on TRIPS despite being a net intellectual property importer because it believed that by doing so it would achieve gains in the area of agriculture.

The US has been playing a powerful business game and they have seemingly won, yet as the sides that have been agreed on, the US is in a place where they would have to give in towards Europe, this is partially clear when we look at the information that the USPTO gives us. Yet in all this the Washington Post is equally giving a disturbing fact. From their view ‘But those rules won’t apply in the United States, where makers are free to label their yogurt as Greek‘, whilst at the same time the United States Patent and Trademark Office (at https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/web/offices/dcom/olia/globalip/pdf/gi_system.pdf) gives us: ““Geographical indications” (“GIs”) are defined at Article 22(1) of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 1995 Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as “indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.”” as well as “Geographical indications serve the same functions as trademarks, because like trademarks they are:

1) source-identifiers,

2) guarantees of quality, and

3) valuable business interests.

The United States has found that by protecting geographical indications through the trademark system – usually as certification and collective marks — the United States can provide TRIPS-plus levels of protection to GIs, of either domestic or foreign origin.

So from that part, not only is the WP incorrect (to some degree), if Greece pushes forward (and they should), there is every chance that Chobani will soon be relabeling their product. They should consider going with ‘Original Strained Yogurt‘ and the faster they move, the quicker they get to push the envelope in the US (and Global) on the niche they are creating. Oh, and Chobani is not the only one in this situation, there are heaps more and as such Greece should have pushed for the changes a lot sooner, if only to give push and rise to Greek exports.

Even as the Washington Post is trivialising it with: “No, actually, we’re all about French yogurt now. What is French yogurt? It’s a yogurt that comes in a cute glass pot, with a cute brand name — “Oui” — made by Yoplait“, which is merely the waves of consumers, they will get back to the Greek solution and as such for players like Chobani to get the ‘Original Strained Yogurt‘ message out will matter sooner rather than later, because the moment the consumer wave is bored with the glass cup, they will look around again and at that point whoever plays the game better gets those consumers and with the increase of 400 times the original revenue in 5 years makes it a serious task to set the right message and address the right people. I took one look at their website (www.chobani.com) and noticing how ‘Greek Yogurt‘ is their forte, which is not bad, yet if Greece gets their way in this and the information as even the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gives it, the Greek enforcement would not be totally impossible, adhering to change and educating the consuming readers now will make a truckload of difference down the track. In my view it is not whether the ‘Greek Yogurt‘ mention is valid or not, it is for the most the strongest message the website throws into our eyes and as such they need to consider their steps. The only other thing I noticed is that they had not taken the trouble to make a mobile app to keep people informed, with a $1 billion plus, that seems like a failure to me. If the product is all, than being seen everywhere matters, especially in this mobile environment. Even when we take the Denver Post (March 9th) at their word, where Chobani chief marketing officer Peter McGuinness said he’s not worried about imitation. “It hasn’t hurt our business because our food is better”, this might be true in his case, yet the rivals need to get creative, so Peter McGuinness needs to get (read: stay) ahead of them before they get a chance to catch up, the game is not just to get ahead of all, it is equally a case to make sure that they cannot catch up. It is the one lesson that Sony learned too late with Betamax, VHS was never anywhere near the quality that Sony offered, yes in 1983, 8 years after Betamax was released it was clear that VHS had won and it was downhill for Betamax from there. It seems to me that if Chobani is not assertively busy keeping the message on track others can start to catch up and as such Chobani should not give up ‘Greek yogurt‘, but informing the consumer what ‘Original Strained Yogurt‘ is could make the difference between a clear first position, or a shared top group. The need for that part is equally in the Denver Post as we see “Then there’s the food companies’ relentless drive to improve profit margins. Amid the industry’s sales decline, General Mills, Mondelez International Inc., Kellogg and Campbell have aggressively cut costs“, the question becomes how are they cutting costs? Are they resorting to additives or alternatives to straining as short cuts in manufacturing? Either way, at this point Chobani could have the edge on two terms (for now) and a clear ‘original’ message if Greece continues and secures protection on Geographical Indication. The Washington Post was not incorrect in their statement, even as it differed from the USPTO, yet the other side is that even as the TPP is dead, whatever follows will still have the parts in it and Europe is more and more protective of certain items. We saw in 2014 “As part of trade talks, the EU wants to ban the use of European names like Parmesan and Gruyere on cheeses made in the US“, with consumer value being more and more important, whatever trade agreement comes through at some point, the Europeans will push for this part and the US with much larger Pharmaceutical avenues will most likely give in on that point if they want to have any hope of stopping generic medication to get a freehold in the EU and UK. As such those who alter the course of their products now are in a much better position when they get overrun with some ‘sudden’ news on the matter. In this, I will not and cannot proclaim I am correct. Yet I can state that my view is indeed more likely than not the correct assessment. We will see soon enough if my view holds water. The fact that Pappas Post reported 22 hours ago “Greece’s Ministry of Agriculture has (finally) assembled a group of experts that are planning the application process to register “Greek yogurt” in the European Union Register as a term with a protected geographical indication (PGI) or protected designation of origin (PDO)” implies that the forming of the application is now underway, and whichever trade talks happens during the current US administration could give rise to changes that Chobani and others need to comply with soon thereafter.

 

 

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