Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 9th, 2009

April 4, 2005

“What message should the Human Factors profession transmit?”

I have in a previous article, in a short sentence that may have gone unnoticed, mentioned that the main objective of Human Factors Engineering is designing interfaces between complex systems and targeted end users.

Modern days are an accumulation of very complex systems that societies can no longer live without and have to suffer their consequences in health, safety, comfort, risks or fatal accidents.

Modern days rely on communications systems, on health care, on educational, on information, on transportation, on energy, on financial, on tourism, on diplomatic, and even on political systems.  Usually, there are purposes for establishing any system and the money generated could only be the consequences of satisfying human specific demands that a developed standard of living requires, or are encouraged through advertisements, or are initiated by new laws to regulating a society.

Transportation systems, from automobile to trains to airplanes and ships have allowed distances to be accessible to many users for daily business in remote areas from where they reside.  More people are tempted to doing routine business trips to other countries and the trend might increase if entrance visas to foreign countries were to be eliminated.

A transportation system consists of safe routes, safe vehicles, safe maintenance facilities, safety standards, health standards, and efficient human support from ticketing, to baggage claim, to insurance, to inspection, to monitoring and to planning for future expansions.

Modern days rely on power generation and distribution systems, from the kind of energy sources, to the distribution lines, to the demand and supply of energy, to the maintenance facilities and all the safety and health standards and human support interfaces.

This modern world, more than in any previous centuries, is plagued with complex systems that are automated in many portions with no human understanding of how a system functions or can be repaired or be redesigned except a few rare professional experts.

These vast and very costly systems are created, assembled, maintained and run by different specialized personnel who have no serious interconnections among one another.

Every section of any system requires an interface with another section so that the end user can communicate with another section without any obligation to know or understand the details of the other section.

These interfaces have to be designed to be used with minimal skills, knowledge or special training. These interfaces have to be usably friendly and to fit most of the personnel regardless of gender, race, stature or religious affiliations.

These interfaces should have functions and tasks that correlate well with the capabilities of the users. Consumers require easy to use objects, safe objects, error free and accident free objects.

Consumers need to access these complex systems quickly, cheaply, without the requirement for extensive training or intermediate personnel to doing business or making the objects function according to their idiosyncrasies. The Human Factors engineering discipline should be the application of the body of knowledge, information and facts about human abilities, limitations, and characteristics to the design of tools, machines, systems, tasks, jobs, and environments for safe, comfortable and effective human use; it is expected to direct its research toward practical design purposes and offer data that can be readily applied by engineers from different discipline.

Note:  My initial version attached the word “system” to every service offered in order to exaggerate the trend in our modern world.  The baffled student who was assigned to reading my version was prompted by the whole class, in a rhythmic fashion, sarcastically pronouncing “system” to every word he read.

“My Name is Bev and I want to Speak” May 10, 2009)

 

            “My Master Adams Mashedbones seems a rather nice boy.  He has been treating me kindly; he feeds regularly and I offer him my milk regurlarly; kind of fair deal.  The problem is that Adams thinks that because I cannot read or write that I am stupid. I admit that I look stupid but he should haveno interest in pushing his nonchalance too far.  Adams forgets that I can hear and see and obviously has no clue that I can read body language, gestures, and lips when Adams inadvertently turns his face towards me; he has no idea that I can sense his gimmicks from the tone of his voice when chatting with buddy Rufus Lightbeer. I suspect that Adams can read and maybe write but this knowledge is of no use to him.  I know that all his information is hearsay and of the more recent mania of the audio-visual intelligence kind of knowledge.

            My mother Sweety heard her mother Dolly complains a few years ago that what Adams fed her was not suiting her digestive system; Dolly went on exaggerating a bit or mother may have added spices to her drole of story.  Dolly was to have said that many of her companions suffered horrible aches and pains and died in crazy conditions.  Dolly was chatty and spread the news that her kinds have been slaughtered for free and the cascasses incinerated and that Adams didn’t care that much about their painful conditions since he was financially rewarded for his greed before the disease and after the disease by a capitalist system, more likely a particular republican capitalist system that Thatcher was a staunch supporter in Britain and exacerbated the epidemics among my cow kind.

            I have real compassion for the porks these days.  I can associate with their worries and tangible calamities that await them.  Adam’s kinds infected the porks with a nasty flu and now the porks are blamed for the new disease.  In this internet age, information is reaching me that in Egypt all porks are being massacred.  Porks over there are not viewed with esteem.  The Koran as well as the Jews prohibits eating porks as source of evil.  Porks in Moslem countries were supposed to be lucky for that prohibition but trade with the greedy “infidels” did not salvage them.  I hate to be ironic but at least porks raised in Moslem countries will no longer be eaten by “infidels” like Adams Mashedbones.  Oh, how I wished to have been born in India; this cursed internet crushed my dreams and enlightened me: India is exporting cow meat to the “infidels”.  So, I might enjoy the better conditions here as long as it last.

 

            I overheard that William is on a war collision course against meat eating specimen.  William is so tight assed in vegetarian habits that he would not even eat milk based product, fish, or any product smelling of animal substance.  If William drinks my milk then he will realize that I too don’t eat onion or ail.  I respect his choice of life style since he can meditate as well as I do but not as long as I do.

            Oh, how I wished that the Phoenisian of Byblos invented alphabets that can be scribbled by cows.  I would have told Adams a piece of my mind.”

Bi-Weekly Report (#21) on the Middle East and Lebanon (May 9, 2009)

 

            The US Administration keeps flopping between the policy of a peace treaty (Israel/ Syria) first or a Palestinian homeland in the Near East.  So far, the US Administration has changed priority more than once in a single month and the US delegates are crusing the regions for a hint and a suggestion while carrying all kinds of tentative projects.  The energumen Israeli foreign affairs minister, investigated for criminal activities by the Israeli police, is visiting a few European States to confirm his opposition for a Palestinian State.  Thus, the US is pleasuring Israel by shifting its priority to (Israel/Syria) peace treaty first.

            Anyone of these projects to take off there are powerful regional powers to satisfy.  For Syria there are Iran and Turkey that should cooperate fully and sign their agreements.  Iran would pressure the US first, to handle the nuclear arm policy equitably since Israel owns one too many nuclear arms; and second, that the treaty preserves unconditionally the sovereignity of Syria in the Golan Heights. This is no longer a State to State treaty but a regional status of dignity that no usurper is to enjoy advantages by military forces.

  1. Turkey would insists that France drops her veto to a potential attachement of Turkey to the European Union; otherwise, why Turkey would go at such length and effort to get re-immersed in regional quagmires?   The other condition of Turkey is that Moslem Syria is not pressured into “losing face” and thus, exacerbates the sense of humiliation and desperation that the Arab World has been subjugated to for centuries.

 

            One policy that the US Adminstration has decided on and is executing with the support of the Pakistany army and government is to defeating the military power of the Taliban style ideology in norther Pakistan.  Pakistan is the main source of instability in order to re-arrange the Greater Middle East stability.  I hope that the Barak Administration has already extended its military policy in Pakistan into including the social and economic stability and viability of the Pakistani State.  Pakistan is worth heavy investment in money and time until the Taliban (Wahhabit) ideology is contained and controlled.

 

            For the Palestinian homestate to take off there are Egypt and Saudi Arabia to be satisfied, assuming that Syria has signed a peace treaty with Israel.  Egypt would insist that first, its enjoys the status of the most preferred nation in Gaza, kind of practical mandate if not diplomatically; and second, that Israel relinquishes any kinds of controls in the Palestinian State that Egypt might be denied, and third, (during the Mubarak dictatorship) that Hamas is not to be the most powerful faction in the Palestinian government and Parliament: Mubarak understands that the “Moslem Brotherhood” party in Egypt has more legitimacy among the population than his regime.

            Saudi Arabia would insists that the clerics to the Mosques that it invested in building or maintaining in Palestine be hired by the wahhabit sect and answering directly to the “fatwas” emanating from the Capital Riad.

 

            The President of Lebanon, Michel Suleiman, has declared yesterday that after the Parliamentary election in June 7 the Dawha agreement will have been satistisfied and the Taef Constitution will be applied: The winning coalition in the parliament will govern and the losers will oppose.  The leader of the Tayyar al Horr (Change and Reform Party), and currently the dominant “Christian” representative in the parliament, General Michel Aoun has been promoting the advent of the Third Republic to replace the governing system imposed on Lebanon since 1993 during the Syrian mandate and after the withdrawal of the Syrian troops in 2005.  The polls favor the opposition (Tayyar, Hezbolah, and Amal) to gaining 65 deputies out of 120. 

Michel Aoun has decided to run in the district of Jezzine (a Christian enclave) with his list of 3 candidates when all the attempts for an agreement with Berri failed.  Berri is the Chairman of the Parliament and the leader of the Shiaa Amal Party that represented the Shiaa during the civil war but was supplanted by Hezbollah.  Berri understands that his weight and standing in the political structure are solely based on heading the parliament and all his machinations are to securing this post that he chaired for over 20 years.

Regardless of the wining coalition, the Taef Agreement will be re-applied in its entirety with various success and time span. For example, a second confessional Partiament of the 19 religious sects will be formed so that the popular Parliament will be elected devoid of sectarianism and hopefully according to a new law based on relative percentages (nisbiyya) and not on majority.

If the Tayyar returns with additional gains into the Parliament then the application of Taef Constitution will accelerate with modification after substantial lapse of time such as providing the President of Republic additional leverage and imposing time constraint on the government (mainly the Prime Minister) to ratifying decision as it is imposed of the President.

In case the Tayyar loses then a dangerous cycle await Lebanon with end results of sharing power not on the basis of 50/50 between the Moslem sects and the Christian sects but on the basis of three major sects, the Shiaa (the most populous), the Sunni, and a combination of the Maronite and Christian Orthodox. 

  1. Lebanon is a precarious State depending on many foreign interests in the Middle East and not specifically for the sake of Lebanon.   In any case, a stable Lebanon is connected with a stable Syria that is satisfied with Lebanon’s foreign administration of relations. The fundamental interests of Syria cannot be circumvented and supersede the USA if Lebanon is to enjoy security and stability.

We don’t care for Carrots, no more (May 9, 2009

A husband kept whinning that he badly misses his roots, in a remote mountain village. The wife was in a bad temper when the husband started his Jeremiades and she shouted at him: “For God’s sake stop it. Don’t tell me that I married a carrot!”

In political discourse, particularly when the political pundits of one of the colonial powers are arguing of the best tactics to deal with a recalcitrant under developed State, the cliché of “The best policy is the timing of when to offer the carrot or wave the stick”. Invariably, in the mind of the colonial powers the “quasi-citizens” of the colonized populations have been treated as donkey and it always worked; thus, they are donkey or behave like donkeys. In the mind of the colonial powers since nothing has changed then there are no urgency for policies to change. I sometimes wonder who is of a higher status emotionally and morally the donkey or the one who persists on riding donkeys or controlling and taming donkeys.

Save us all the carrots in the world if you just can forget us. The colonial powers’ foreign policies are of no use to us if the “covert apartheid” mentality is administered on the immigrants. Global resolutions and maintenance of global solutions cannot be sustained as long as “covert apartheid” is applied within the colonial powers administrations towards the immigrants. The issue of identity in the developed nations is a forced one by the political elite to exercise hegemony over the immigrants. The citizens in the developed nations are secure in their identity because they have none and don’t care to have any and refuse to be issued identity cards. It is the immigrants who are supplying this additional burden of sorting out roots for the benefit of homogenizing intelligence gathering to the National Data Base. The immigrants are fleeing their shameful identities and want to re-create a new life only to be reminded by the host nations that identity is unavoidable and that immigrants have to be re-grouped in ghettos.

The citizens of the developed nations can hop on any plane to any country with a simple passport and be welcomed as honored citizens of the world. The immigrants have to stay in long lines at the Embassies’ doors, then wait many months to be interviewed, then bring documents that prove that they have lots of money in banks before they are issued a lousy visa for barely two months to visit a boring country. The immigrant end up spending tons of money, and wait in long lines to see the collections of the painters such as Vermeer or Cesane just to prove that they are “a la mode”, that they belong to special clubs of the superclasses.

I repeat, global solutions to a world going adrift for the dieing human kind rely on winning the challenges of integrating immigrants in societies with sustainable institutions. This challenge is the burden of the USA and the European Union since China, India, and Japan are not the lands for the weary and the oppressed of confessional constraints and immutable traditions.

So many States are indemically deprived of substance for survival that they willing to fake that they didn’t get it. So many States are down on their needs and know that whatever aids they will receive will draw blood ten folds in return. So many States are at the bottom of the human scale because they know that those providing aids have devised techniques to milk fleece and not just human being. No Sirs, we have no use of your carrots; keep them for your pleasure. onfessional constraints and immutable traditions. So many States are indemically deprived of substance for survival that they willing to fake that they didn’t get it. So many States are down on their needs and know that whatever aids they will receive will draw blood ten folds in return. So many States are at the bottom of the human scale because they know that those providing aids have devised techniques to milk fleece and not just human being. No Sirs, we have no use of your carrots; keep them for your pleasure.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

May 2009
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