Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 1st, 2008

Normalcy in Randomness (October 29, 2008)

 

Many mathematicians and scientists earned Nobel Prizes for researching the phenomena of randomness and chaos in the universe and the extremely rare events located on the tails of the Bell Curve shaped graph for the probability for the occurrence of events.  A Lebanese/American thinker from Amyoun (Lebanon), Naseem Taleb, had published last year “Black swan theory” that predicted the crash of Wall Street. Since the Middle Age nobody believed that a swan could be but white in color until a black one was discovered in Australia in the 17th century.  Professor in Epistemology or the study of knowledge sciences Taleb wrote also “Fooled by randomness” and he participated in the elaboration of “complex financial derivatives”, this evil source of the current financial crisis, when he worked for a Wall Street company a while ago. 

Professor Taleb realized a year ago that a crash of large magnitude was to happen on account that the fundamentals of financial analysis of experts are outdated: the experts rely in their analysis on the most probable occurrences and do not examine the alarming cases of rare events that have the possibility of happening.  One of the first sign that a major problem might take place is when Bernarki was appointed to head the Federal Reserve Board for the retiring Greenspan. Taleb knew that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the largest property lenders that cover over 45% in the Real Estate business were in deep financial difficulties.  In fact, the US government by nationalizing these two companies own over 75% of the USA lands.  There are evidences that rich sovereign funds of powerful States have pressured the US government to rescue these two companies and a few others because China had invested 400 billions in USA properties, Japan 300 billions, Russia 200 billions, and South Korea and Taiwan over 40 billions each.  There is no doubt that the extended theocratic Saudi family (over 5,000 members) has invested in the trillions but it acts discreetly in total conformity with the US government policies.

 

The study of randomness can be taken up in mathematics, physical sciences, or socio-psychological attitudes and behavior.  For example, the Japanese society comprehends and admits crazy people in its companies and enterprises: this authoritarian society with strictly controlled morals at work, at schools, and in families has a high rate of males cracking down and losing it.  The women who are encouraged to commit suicide to preserving their “honor” leave that sort of honor to the males; women are more controlled than men but they manage not to reach the act of committing suicide because society does not expect much of them for promotion or eccentricity.

In societies that focus on the behaviors of average “normal” people rather than the “crazy” and eccentric individuals, such as in the USA, it is the norm to fire the “crazies” instantly and then relegate them to asylums for a very short time and then set them free on the streets to lead a homeless life.

 

We know in human behavior that individuals with extreme characters attract toward one another and those who resemble in characters dislike one another although they tend to conglomerate, maybe by animal instinct.  My idea is to reverse the Bell Curve so that the tails would converge and the Bell portions would balloon away.  The difficulty is to selecting the axes of references that might be most appropriate to describe these functions (for example what Y and X axis could be measuring).

Who is whispering in our ears?  Good Cops and Bad Cops! (November 1, 2008)

 

Who is whispering in our ears?  Is he a representative of the Devil or God’s?  I guess that the processes of reaching faith are the clues on whose side is the whisperer. What I know is that the Devil represents the status quo, the current paradigms, and the normalcy of living; God’s must represent the rare events that eventually catch up with humanity if it stagnates and refuses to consider seriously all the alternatives, especially the rare and unappetizing occurrences. Stagnation in the mind that is recompensed for normal behavior is the cause of fuzzy differentiation between wrong and good moral values.

All systems and orders are based on the dichotomy of Good cops and Bad cops.  The main trouble is that Good cops are rarely visible or heard from in public.  The whole scene is predominated by an amalgam of Bad cops whose job is to keep people in line with the established system of governance, rules of behaviors, and a set of well instituted paradigms.

I you think that only the Devil or God is running the whispering in your life then most probably you are wrong. God and the Devil switch roles throughout your life, whispering all kinds of directives.  God must be encouraging you to think for yourself, to work your brain hard, and to expand your fields of knowledge.  God must be the one pressuring you to reach a set of Truths of your own.  The Devil is constantly offering all kinds of incentives to stay in order and give up the fight for your own soul.  Or it may be the way around but for the moment I take stand to my view.

In Japan the President of the company (not necessarily the owner) should be considered as God; as such he should be handsome, tall, and soft spoken; no one except the Vice-President is permitted to visit him or a cadre that the President summons to see.  The job of the Vice-President is principally to play Bad Cop; as such he should look ugly, an ogre, and should be trained to curse and his powerful voice should transmit far away; basically, the Vice-President is to keep all cadres to their proper place in the hierarchy and remind them that no one is above the written and unwritten rules of conduct.  There may be a few variants in the running of multinationals of other countries but the fundamental principle is the same and it is up to individual employee to discover the basic jobs of each cadre in the hierarchy.

 

No, it is not ignorance that is the root of all evils; it is the conviction that ignorance is bliss.

No, it is not knowledge that is the way to clemency, compassion, cooperation and communication among people and races; it is not even the thorough specialization in one field of knowledge; it is our continual zest for broadening our fields of knowledge, knowing that rational mind has limits into discovering the mysteries of life and the universe, but feeling deep down that continuing knowledge is the key to openness of the mind.

No, it is not the belief that only faith is the way to salvation; it is the openness and readiness of the mind and soul to accepting rare happenings as real, as part of the valid signs to the mysteries of life and the universe.

The only purpose of our constant striving in life is to receive the “grace”, the ultimate gift, which would enhance the cycle of returning to our child state of wonder, amazement and glory.

            Seeing the world and people in a child’s clear eyes and fresh mind is the ultimate in happiness and joy.

Stupeur et tremblements by Amelie Noyhomb,  (Book review, October 30, 2008)

French author Amelia Nothomb, in her fantastic book of 189 pages “Stupeur et tremblements“, describes her experiences for an entire year at the Japanese Import/Export large company of Yumimoto in 1990.  The title was extracted from the behavior and acting of any Japanese in the presence of the Emperor.

As a matter of fact, the entire story is mostly a long series of stupor and quavering by the Japanese employees in front of their superiors, and how they dealt with the culture of a western girl. As I recall, Amelie was born in Japan when her dad was the Belgian Consul.  She loved her first 5 years there, and felt that Japan was her homeland, after so many transfers to other countries.

Amelie returned to Japan with fresh recollections of her sweet and unforgettable years there as a child.  Amelie will discover at her expense that she was not to exhibit in business meetings, with other friendly Japanese companies, that she understands the Japanese language!

Amelie had a life after her 10-hour work day, but she decided to focus her autobiography of that year on the enterprise. Nothomb described in details the strict hierarchical structure of the company, its unwritten rules, the behavior of the employees, and the status of women in society.

With or without a contract, an employee at that period was not expected to be fired. The initiative for leaving a company was left to the employee who would have to meet personally with each boss in the higher levels in the hierarchy and present his resignation.

A sample of the verbal resignation should be stated is what Amilie memorized the formal sentence for resignation:

“We are at the end of term of my contract and I would like to announce to you my regret for not being able to renew it.  The company of Yumimoto offered me multiple occasions to prove my potentials.  I will be eternally grateful. Unfortunately, I could not satisfy the expectation of the honor accorded to me.”

It is unheard of that an employee could take the initiative without the permission of his immediate boss or even complains to a higher level.  In general, the higher levels would refrain from undercutting the responsibilities of the immediate boss, although they could and had the total right to curse, lambasted and humiliate any lower level employee in front of all the employees for no specific reasons.   The cadre was not permitted to defend himself or speak; all that he should be doing is to lower his head and show respect until the verbal storm is over.

For example, Mori Fubuki, a most beautiful and classy lady of 29, boss of Amelie, was subject of such a scene.  Mori hurried to the toilet to cry her eyes out and Amelie followed her to express her compassion as western custom is preponderant.  Mori was greatly furious that Amelie dared to see her crying and she vowed to humiliate her at the extreme.  Fubuli thus decided to relegate Amelie to cleaning the toilets for seven months at the 44th floor of the building or the accounting department.

Fubuki selected the boring task of classifying receipts by company names and ordering them by date of receipt to punish Amelie.  Amelie ordered the names of the German companies called GMBH in one file on account that any additional prefix can only mean to be an affiliate to GMBH; it turned out that GMBH stands for Ltd in German.  The accounting cadre laughed very hard and every employee shared in the merriment.  Fubuki was humiliated because Amelie was her responsibility.

Fubuki then endeavored to find a task for Amelie that does not require “intelligence”.  Amelie was assigned to verify the accounting of business charge trips.  The genius of Amelie was that for an entire month, not a single number matched!  Calculating and accounting was the worst job that could be asked of her.  Fubuli knew that Amelie will never finish the job, but she waited patiently for Amelie to concede defeat.

The way I see it, the President of the company (not necessarily the owner) should be considered as God; as such, he should be handsome, tall, soft-spoken, and no one except the Vice-President is permitted to visit him or a cadre he summons to see.  The job of the Vice-President is to play Bad Cop; as such, he should look ugly, an ogre, and should be trained to curse, and his powerful voice should transmit far away; basically, the Vice-President is to keep all cadres to their proper place in the hierarchy and remind them that no one is above the unwritten rules.

Once, Amelie took the initiative of aiding a cadre from another section without asking permission of Fubuki.  Fubuki wrote a complaint to Omochi and the cadre, and Amelie had a thorough wash down.  Fubuki would not allow a new comer to be promoted quickly when she had to suffer for ten years to get her present promotion.

Nothomb explains why the Japanese society comprehends and admit crazy people in their company: this authoritarian society with strictly controlled morals at work and in families, has a high rate of males cracking down and losing it.  The women are more controlled than men in society, but they manage not to reach the act of committing suicide, an act viewed within society as the ultimate in honor for a woman.  May be the only honorable decision that a woman can make beside marrying before the age of 25.

Working and breeding are the only tasks for a woman:  she should not expect much in promotion or eccentricity or compliments. Children are treated as God till the age of three; from 3 to 18 they are sent to schools with “military” discipline; from 18 to 25 offspring have the only break in their lives to be free in university settings; then, they are back to concentration camps in their enterprises and strict duties and responsibilities to their institutions.

The Japanese fathers have an inkling of giving infinitive verbs for names to their boys such as “Work”; whereas females receive poetic names such as “Snow”, Rain”, or “Flower”.

Here is a list of prescriptions that women have to follow to the letters:

  1. If you are not married by the age of 25, then you have good reasons to be ashamed.
  2. If you laugh then you will not be considered distinguished.
  3. If your face shows feelings then you are vulgar.
  4. If you mention that you have a single hair on your body then you are vile.
  5. If a boy kisses you in public on the cheek then you are a whore.
  6. If you eat with pleasure then you are a sow.
  7. If you experience pleasure sleeping then you are a cow.
  8. If you go to the toilet for body releases, then make sure nobody hear anything.
  9. You should never sweat  Thus, avoid voluptuous love-making.
  10. You should not marry for love.
  11. If you fall in love then you were not well-educated.
  12. Stay thin because males do not appreciate round shapes.

All the sufferings in sticking to these precepts have the sole objective of preserving your honor and nothing else.

In 1993, Amelie had published two books and Fubuki sent her a brief letter in Japanese saying simply “Congratulation”.

“The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie (Started October 30, 2008)

This manuscript is of 547 pages and divided into 9 parts:

The Angel Gibreel (Gabriel), Mahound, Ellowen Deeowen, Ayesha (Aicha), A city visible but unseen, Return to Jahilia, The Angel Azraeel (Satan), The Parting of the Arabian Sea, and A Wonderful lamp.

I will only review Mahound because this section is crucial for setting the geo-political, commercial and societal structure in Mecca and the neighboring towns.  This description would help comprehend the climate within which Islam was born and expanded.

Mahound is one of several names given to the Devil.

It is very unfortunate that Rushdie decided to represent the Prophet Muhammad by this name which forbade over a billion of Moslems from reading this essentially wonderful and most informative book.

Many “fatwas” in the Moslem World and especially in Iran of Khomeini permitted the killing of Salman Rushdie for this blasphemy.

Rushdie has been since then protected by the British police and been mostly in hiding. Actually, Moslems should be thankful to Rushdie in not naming their Prophet for two verses that deviated from the message of One God.  I will use the name of Muhammad instead.

Mecca at the time of Muhammad was built 4 generation ago to cater for desert caravans bringing goods from Zofar and Yemen to bifurcate toward Egypt, Iraq/Iran, or Syria/Turkey.  It barely rain in that region and the only potable well was called Zamzam.

The mythical story goes that Abraham abandoned his Egyptian wife Hagar and his son Ismail to their fate in this unforgiving area.  Luckily for Hagar, Angel Gabriel (Gibreel) uncovered for Hagar the well Zamzam and she survived with her newly born son.

Once a year, the Bedouins of Arabia who adored 360 idols, and imported from the neighboring countries to encourage pilgrimage to the Black Stone (Al Ka3ba), celebrated the passage of Abraham (Ibraheem) in the vicinity!

Mecca was structured around concentric dwellings starting from the Black Stone and fanning away.  Houses closest to the Black Stone belonged to the most prominent personalities in the city council and their respective clans in the extended Kuraich (Shark) tribe.

There were 4 main clans and each clan was specialized in one kind of commerce:  the Scarlet tents sold spices and scents, the Black tents the cloth and leather, the Silver tents precious metals and swords and the fourth colored tents or the owners of the Dappled Camels specialized in entertainments, wine, hashish, and the slave trade. Water carriers were despised because any overflowing of water would damage the streets and homes built out of sand.

Around the year of 600, the businessmen in Mecca were losing trade to the sea transports; worse, another new and famous Temple was built in the town of Sheba in Yemen and pilgrims were investigating these new regions.

The pilgrims were getting scarce in Mecca because they realized that they were being milked from every penny they had and young girls were abducted for ransom.  Consequently, in order to keep afloat the Kuraich tribe encouraged vile entertainment activities during the pilgrimage season to attract more customers.

The Black Stone enshrined around 360 idols brought from around the neighboring civilizations to entice pilgrims in from all around the regions.  The colossus Hubal the shepherd was sent by the Amalekites of Hit, the idol Kain was the patron of musicians and blacksmiths, Astarte (He-of-Shara) was brought by the Nabataean as well as saturnine Nakruh.  Manaf was the sun-god, the eagle-form Nasr, See Quzah that hold the rainbow; Uzza the goddess of beauty and love, and Lat the all-powerful mother goddess.  The idol Allah had some sort of overall authority, an all-rounder in an age of specialist idols and thus was not that popular and didn’t generate money.

Hind, the all-powerful wife of the preeminent Karim Abu Simbel owned the 3 most famous goddesses of Lat, Manat, and Uzza.

Muhammad was rich after marrying Khadija, but he was an orphan and his clan was of lower status and thus was not represented in the city council. His wife Khadija was about 7 years older than him and she had hired him to lead and manage her caravans heading to Damascus.

Khadija was the first person to believe in the predication of Muhammad.  By the age of 44 Muhammad message of “no God but Allah” was not making any major breakthrough among the city dwellers.  The very young and most prominent poet lampoonist Baal had pinned up all over town “Messenger, do please lend a careful ear.  Your mono-philia, your One, One, One, isn’t for Jahilia, return to sender”

Beside his uncle Hamza and a few poor fellows, not many were paying any attention to Muhammad revelations.  Among those poor individuals were Khalid the water carrier, Salman from Persia (who later would suggest to dig a wide ditch around Medina to prevent the cavalry of Kuraich to enter the town), and Bilal the mighty slave that Muhammad set free from his owner and would later be appointed the first official “muazen” calling the believers to the five prayers of the day.

In order for his message to breakthrough Muhammad was inclined to accept the deal of Abu Simbel.

Abu Simbel would recognize Allah as the mightiest God and would offer Muhammad a seat in the city council in return of recognition of Lat, Manat, and Uzza as gods or the best who can intercede with Allah.  Muhammad thus returned from the Cone Mountain and delivered the verses stating that “Lat, Manat, and Uzza are the exalted birds, and their intercession is desired indeed”

The disciples of Muhammad were beside themselves and could not assent to accepting a God but Allah.  Muhammad did not dare face his wife Khadija that night and did not enter his house.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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