Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 2nd, 2009

Restructuring engineering curriculum to respond to end users demands: Introspection(chapter #54)

In 1987 Alphonse Chapanis, a renowned Human Factors professional, urged that published Human Factors research papers target the practical design need of the various engineering disciplines so that the research data be readily used by engineers.  Dr. Chapanis was trying to send a clear message that Human Factors main discipline was to design interfaces between systems and end users and thus, research papers have to include sections directing the practicing engineers to the applicability of the results of the paper to design purposes.

In return, I find it appropriate to send the message that all engineering disciplines should include sections in their research papers orienting the engineering practitioners to the applicability of the results of their papers to the end users and how Human Factors professionals can judiciously use the data in their interface designs. 

As it was difficult for the Human Factors professional to send the right message to the engineering practitioners, and still has enormous difficulty disseminating the proper purpose and goals, it would be a steep road for the engineers to send the right message that what they design is actually targeting the needs and new trends of the end users.

As long as the various engineering curriculums fail to include the Human Factors field as an integral part in their structures, it would not be realistic to contemplate any shift in their designs toward the end users.

We know that man-made “Systems” would become even more complex and thus, testing and evaluation more expensive in order to make end users accept any system and patronize it.

Instead of recognizing from the early phases in the design process that reducing human errors and risks to the safety and health of end users are the best marketing criteria for encouraging end users to adopt and apply a system, we see systems are still being designed by different engineers who cannot relate to the end users because their training are not directed explicitly toward them.

What is so incongruous for the engineering curriculums to include courses that target end users? 

Why would not these curriculums include courses in occupational safety and health, consumer product liability, engineers as expert witnesses, the capabilities and limitations of human, marketing, psychophysics and experimental design?

Are the needs and desires of end users beneath the objectives of designing systems?

If that was true, then why systems are constantly being redesigned, evaluated and tested in order to match the market demands? 

Why do companies have to incur heavy expenses in order to rediscover the wheel that the basis of any successful design ultimately relies on the usefulness, acceptability and agreement with the end users desires and dreams? 

Why not start from the foundation that any engineering design is meant for human and that designed objects or systems are meant to fit the human behavior and not vice versa?

What seem to be the main problems for implementing changes in the philosophy of engineering curriculums?

Is it the lack to find enough Human Factors, ergonomics and industrial psychologist professionals to teaching these courses?

Is it the need to allow the thousands of psychologists, marketing and business graduates to find debouches in the market place for estimating users’ needs, desires, demands and retesting and evaluating systems after the damages were done? May be the Human factors professionals failed so far to make any significant impact to pressure government to recognize that they are part and parcel of the engineering practices.

And may be multinational companies should remind universities of the kinds of engineers they want.

Introspection: Raine (addendum 2)

Raines is my Initiator; or May Be Not.  (Nov. 2002)

My roommate used to travel two hours on weekends to work as a bartender at an Army base in Lawton.  He spent the rest of the week studying to be a pharmacist in Oklahoma City.  He was my roommate in Norman; one hour away to school, the other direction from work. I drove in his Spitfire one fall weekend in 1977 for a birthday party.

Linda and Raines were there, and I have never met them before. Linda was utterly gorgeous and tall. Her red-headed girl friend was sort of rotund and short, with a lovely face. Uncharacteristically, I was in a good humor. I think that I was funny in my French accent or in any of the several languages I know.

My conversation was mostly of small talks, and still is mostly. I naturally act drunk on water and orange juice when I’m around a captive audience of lovely girls. Linda picked me as her companion for the evening.  She would not separate from me. My roommate had the eyes for Linda for some times prior to the event.

Being a better Casanova than me, he cut me off several times and managed to keep Linda for the night. I had many proofs that my friend is an unchallenged Casanova. I once met the most beautiful girl on Earth while seeing a movie on campus, solo as usual. I didn’t even ask her “What’s your name”.

A week later, coming to our apartment at midnight, at the closing hour of the main library on campus, “The most beautiful girl” was there with him, supposedly studying together. It was a blistering cold night and I had to visit the bathroom urgently. Coming out, she had vanished. “Where is she?” I asked my roommate. He joked: “She heard the Niagara Falls of your piss and got a fright.”

“Do you realize that she is the one I told you was the most beautiful girl?” He recovered from his surprise and said: “She had been after me for a while. She definitely wants me. I guess that I will not touch her for the sake of your feelings.” I believed him, at least for not making any further moves himself.  Lisa was studying pharmacy too. I met her five years later at a bar in Norman and I barely talked to her. She was selling for a drug company.

I had the impression at the party that a certain deal was agreed on behind my back. Raines promptly made her move as my new girl friend. I acquiesced reluctantly.

A week later, the two girls paid us an evening visit. It was implicitly clear how the division was arranged. I felt terribly jittery and somehow uncooperative. I was not comfortable with the realization of my de facto coming “initiation”.  I delayed as much as I could.  I suggested taking a hot bath.

Raines agreed cheerfully and we played like kids, splashing water and all. The other couple was heard laughing at us and giggling in the next room. What was to be done was almost inevitable. I am not sure who turned off the light in my bedroom but it suited me grandly. I requested that she mounts me, Raines being the expert, a single mother with a child. I wish I was candid with Raines: It would have saved me much grief, pain and humiliation.

She mounted me with fugue. Her rubbing on my uncircumcised prick was extremely harsh. The pain was humongous, shooting through my body and spreading to my head. I reasoned that this might be the normal price when you commit a major Sin. I was not to be initiated that night and did not sleep a wink.

It felt extremely sensitive and looked swollen and violet. I could not suffer any contact with any fabric, especially the kinds of Raines’ fabric. For three days I wore a Jallabieh, a large loose white tunic. For three days I looked ridiculous on campus. I checked at the University clinic. The lady physician referred me to a male “specialist”.

A close friend of mine accompanied me to the specialist. The doctor was cool and within three seconds covered the head of my rod with the retracted skin. Yeah, it was a rod since that fateful night, and I wish it stays so for the duration of my active life. The physician trained me how to retract the skin and cover it back. I was to exercise this new game twice a day for the rest my active life.

My friend had a quick chat with the physician and emerged saying: “Adonis, is this your first time?” “Oh, no, no, certainly not the first time” I replied.

He was obviously on the right track but I denied it to save a standing manhood honor, not vehemently though.

Damn it, his assumption was not correct either.  It was not even the first time. I was still at zero time and terribly anxious and puzzled. Incredible! I am not totally sure who initiated me even now. It might be Sonja:  I remember she told me that I needed practice.

Sonia, Sonja, originally from Indonesia and living in Houston, invited me to her apartment.  I was her neighbor and had expressed my appreciation for her beauty. She met me wearing a Geisha outfit, white socks and Geisha footwear. I was re-appreciative for her originality and complemented her beauty. Sonia admitted that I showed progress in my performances the night I bade her farewell before I flew back to my Lebanon in 1979.

Since the physician’s recommended exercise was to last forever and for a lifetime I thus decided to be circumscribed. I did not heal fast and could not see Raines anytime soon for a rematch. One morning, Raines drove two hours to see me. She did not have the heart to try my new implement. I suggested licking her cunt. The stench was awful, driving that long in a burning summer day, and I did not insist.

What’s with this crazy Napoleon? During his retreat from his failed Russian campaign, he mailed a letter to then his wife Josephine, telling her that he will be joining her soon and ordering her not to wash at all.

A year later, I called up Raines from Houston. I had two tickets for the Eagle’s concert and wanted to treat her well.  She called back 3 hours later with a negative answer. She said that she has recently converted to Jehovah Witnesses, that she is a born again Christian, and that too much fun of this kind is nefarious to her born again soul.

Dreaming has a Memory of its own (March 2, 2009)

 

            I dream a lot and when I make an effort I can sometimes recall the feeling and emotions of the reel.  I realized that dreaming has a memory of its own.  Very often, as a dream unfolds I have the impression that a section in the story has been shown before.  It is as if the administrator of the dream part of memory has a library of DVDs, a department specifically reserved of what have been dreamt of.

            As I dream I know right away that I have seen and felt that story and there is nothing I can do to stop it or ask the librarian to change it to another DVD.  The only time that I might pre-empt the movie is when I reach the part that affect my survival such as a very dangerous moment; then, frequently I force myself to wake up and put an end to the nightmarish DVD.

            There are DVDs where I am running around in search of a toilet but find none that are clean; it is so disgusting that I learned to put an end to the malevolent reel and get up and piss.  I am so repulsed that I don’t dare go back to sleep right away.

            I wonder if those in coma are subjected to the same set of DVDs and that when their eyelids flutter or they have jerky movements then they are trying to react to a very nasty section of their dreams.  The worst part would be if the dream part of memory has been partially damaged and the comatose patient has to suffer a limited choice of lousy and frightening DVDs that keep being loaded ad infinitum.

            I would not mind to be shown lovely DVDs in my dream that I like to see as often as possible.  The problem is that the memory library for dreams is awfully biased toward horror movies, mostly very disgusting.  May be the best way to shelve off, for a long time, a bad recurring dream is to write it down.  It would be a nice experiment to edit the bad sections, in the written exercise, and add sections that you would like the administrator of dream memory to edit for you and have a more enjoyable version.

            There must be an interface section between the “real” memory and the dream memory.  The dream memory needs refresher impressions of sensorial feedback in order to edit versions of stored DVDs.  I guess rational knowledge is also transmitted.  For example, I had this piece of intelligence in my dream that fish have no complex memory; that for survival purposes they have a dual switch of ON/OFF like eat do not eat.  If this binary memory is detracted and stuck to one setting then the fish will keep eating till it blow or starve to death. Now, I would like to know if what my dream has offered as a hypothesis is true scientifically.

            I also would like to know if dream memory organizes in the same manner as real memory.  If it is true, then scientists have an alternative method for taking advantage of the dream memory to uncover the mystery of memory saving and retrieval.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

March 2009
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