Day 8 Was Great

Well, it’s the first day back after Paphos and I do miss the beach. Today was very informative and I felt like I learned a lot.

We started with a surprisingly short drive to UNIC; I didn’t even get a chance to nap! There, we met with Fleet Management. After hearing from a lot of other port companies, I sort of knew what to expect from their presentation. I was surprised, however, that I actually learned a lot. I learned that modern nautical ships were first built in 1965 and that the number of shipping vessels has increased about 5x since 1970. They went over the most important canals of the world which were the Panama Canal in Panama, the Suez Canal between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the Kiel Canal in Germany. Apparently 40 ships pass through the Panama Canal each day and they have a special ship built just for the canal.

The presenter was asking us questions and I turned to Carina and said: “I feel like I know all of these answers but I don’t want to raise my hand and be wrong.” Sure enough, the next question I answered incorrectly, but I got it right the second time. I know now that Shanghai’s port is the largest in the world and if I remember correctly, it can store about a million shipping containers which seems absurd. It is also a newer port compared to many. Rotterdam in the Netherlands is the biggest port of Europe. 

Then, we had lunch and some time to rest. I drank two coffees even though I didn’t like coffee before this trip!!!

Next was our lecture on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain. The presenter was extremely knowledgeable and explained things very well. He really knew what he was talking about. This was the best presentation I’ve seen because I came in with a different opinion than I left with. Coming in, I didn’t like crypto and definitely didn’t see a use for it. After hearing him speak, I understand more about the benefits of the technology behind crypto. I appreciated that he acknowledged that the important part of the discussion was the technology and data structures rather than the actual currency. He made a great case for the idea of decentralization but also acknowledged that we don’t need it for everything. I will be honest, when he started talking about our digitized future I got really sad. Personally, I don’t want to live in a world where I experience the entire world digitally from the safety of my home. I understand the ease and necessity for digital innovation but I really hope we don’t go too far and end up like a Black Mirror episode. Overall, I thought this presentation was extremely intriguing and informative for me. 

Finally, we heard about forecasting. To summarize, I learned that forecasting is really important for all types of industries but very hard to do. The presenter mentioned machine learning algorithms and I got super interested in the technology behind forecasting. I cared less about what forecasting was and more about the programming involved. 

It was a super eye-opening and information rich day but I still don’t see the value in NFT’s. Onto the next day in Famagusta!!!

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