Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 10th, 2009

327.  Three Global Temptations (May 8, 2009)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

331.  IQ test scheme grafted on overbearing Genes (May 10, 2009)

 

32.  Critique of Amine Maalouf’s “A World Adrift” (May 11, 2009)

Three Global Temptations (May 8, 2009)

At this junction of human development, the global problems we have to face attest to the successes and accomplishments of man, his mental scientia genius, his legitimate ambitions for acquiring what he can afford to, his quest for liberty and the reward for a comfortable life after a hard day work.  The global problems we have to resolve attest to man ethical and moral failures to catching up to his mental agility.  Man has proven his individual instinct capability for survival in a sustainable earth; man has now to prove that he developed enough collective instinct to survive, an earth on the way to depletion.

It is appropriate to consider the example of a team of rock climbers.  The team has the appropriate equipments tested scientifically and the proper training physically.  There are three main risks for the team to fail in the mission of reaching the top.

The first temptation is that a member of the team to go berserk and take a dive and thus carries the rest of the team with him. A few people have this urgent temptation to dive, and with available opportunities, they would try dangerous acrobatics.  Luckily, the two populous nations of China and India have taken off; they have the tools, the technology, and the means to care for their over 2 billion citizens if they don’t try to catch up in a few decades what took centuries for the USA, Europe, and Japan to reach in stable governments, and legitimate desires for comfort.

There are many more millions who have been humiliated for centuries and robbed of their basic dignity; they are not going berserk because of poverty:  They have individual means for survival.   They can become highly dangerous because of a collective sense of insignificance and desperation toward the policies of the superpowers; those same colonial powers resuming this process of humiliation in “soft” strategy of financial control, and denying them even diplomatic respect as recognized States.  Not all Moslem States feel this desperation: Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Turkey have taken their destinies in their hand.  What the European Union and the USA have to focus on, right now, is to salvage the remnant of dignity among the Arab populations.

The second temptation facing the team of climbers is the wall, the rock face. Most team members might have the techniques of sheltering from falling rocks, slippery sections, brittle portions, and blowing winds.  Human kind has learned to take shelter until the danger passes over.  Most of us have developed the instinct of prudence, not interference, and keeping low levels. We are at a junction where danger is not to pass over on its own volition and no sheltering behavior can protect us for survival. Human kind has to move as a team of bold activists and turn out heavily to put their words, opinions, and actions at work.  We may hold to our tribal customs, our illusory identities, our comfortable life styles, our chimerical convictions and then, all is lost.  The team has to support the weakest member as difficulties surge and be confronted collectively.

The third temptation braving the team is deciding on the target of the mission and it has to be a collective goal. There are no tops to reach in human progress but there are defining phases.  We are at the dawn of Prehistory and a new kind of history has to be achieved and written. Tribal history has done its function but it is alive in many countries and is a danger to our current global problems. National wars, religious wars disguised as ethical values, ideological wars, cultural wars, or war of “civilization” have been tried and they all failed to bring reprieve and salvation. A new adventure for human kind is facing us boldly and we have to invent a new kind of history more appropriate to our survival. The new history should be focused on resuming our medical successes, eliminating pain and diseases, eradicating weapons of mass destruction, keeping us functional in old age, overcoming illiteracy, investing on continuing education, creating opportunities for various skills, desires, and achievements, preserving thousand of languages from certain death and many unknown literature, managing human rights, and salvaging the dignity of every human being.

Frankly, The European Union is actually the main laboratory for confirming that “Tribal History” is exhaling its last breath; that human dignity is not measured by fictitious apartheid scales based on color, religious affiliation or ethnic origins; that humiliating man is not a point of view or can generate any temporary benefit. If God has been angry for millennia then He has an opportunity to feel proud of his Creation.

Critique of Amine Maalouf’s “A World Adrift” (May 10, 2009)

 

I read all of Maalouf’s 11 books in their original language French. I have already published eight posts with themes inspired from “Le Dereglement du Monde” (A World Adrift) with expansion and re-arrangement for logical flow and in a different style; for example “China and India Empires”, “Instantaneous Expediencies”, “Minorities in the Process of Disappearing: Iraq Case”, “Misleading Legitimacies”, “Imaginary Certitudes”, “A Way out of History”, “Move Inland, Son”, and “Three Global Temptations”

. I have already reviewed at least three of Amine Maalouf’s books; in addition to “A World Adrift”, I reviewed “Origins” and extensively reviewed “The Garden of Light”.

            Amine Maalouf is from Lebanon by origin and settled in France during the civil war and has been a French citizen for 30 years; he received many book awards and acclaims of the highest honors from the French Academy of Literature.

            My critiques are mainly focused on the style of his latest book.  I had the visceral impression that Maalouf is an “imprisoned westernized academics” that has to prove at every turn that he is a western mind and thus, he has to insist on introspective paragraphs to settle his credibility as an impartial author who obeys the cretirion and restrictions of western demands on acceptability.  I admit, if I were not a Levantine and fluent in French, I would have been lost and given up on finishing the book.

            I was frustrated that Maalouf had to persist in almost every page that he is no scientist or has no scientif credentials to confirm that the climate is changing because of the over concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.  He had to fall back on Pascal’s logic that the remedies for reducing CO2 are beneficial to earth climate even if this gas turns out not to be the culprit.  All the western nations have been substituting CO2 emiting generators and vehicles with “clean” energy technologies for decades and they were not waiting for Maalouf’s Pascal logic to confirm the obvious in action.  Maalouf has the intelligence and references and he did his research and he didn’t need to ruin a good chapter with convoluted excuses on his scientific shotcomings.or credentials.  The reading becomes pretty boring unless Maalouf is trying implicitely to give literature a higher standard than sciences in human progress.

            My example of clear style is that section on “Three Global Temptations”: it stated the dilemma and the resolution with a supportive practical story in a Levantine style. The fundamental global problems are established and they need to be read as a Bible for human future survival.  That is what most people read and how they assimilate critical urgencies in ideas, the Levantine Bible style.

I stated in a previous post that “The Levantine style (basically the style of the Bibles) is characterized by direct pronouncements expressing feeling and describing what is seen, heard, and assimilated.  The sentences are not encumbered by prefixes such as “I think”, “I believe”, “I am not sure”, “It is possible”, “There might be other versions”, “I might be wrong”, or “It is my opinion”, or what the western writers have adopted from the Greek “rational” style.  The style in the Levant sounds confident, categorical, and conveying the total truth though it does not mean that the people cannot discriminate or feel the variations, possibilities, and uncertainties.  The writers in the Levant simply feel that all these attachments are redundant since it is a fact of life that nothing is categorical or certain; thus, superfluous additions that disturb the flow of thoughts and ideas that need to be conveyed are not appreciated.  Consequently, the author feels that the western readers of the Bible should tone down their uneasiness with “outrageous” direct and assured pronouncements in the Bibles.”

 

I claim that if you still need to add superfluous corrective, introspective, or “diplomatic” paragraphs then you might as well warn your readers that the piece is still in the draft stage, that you are still ruminating and reflecting, that you are still in the stage of talking to yourself, and that you need your readers to help you out finish the article.  It is my position that when you are ready to publish then you should adopt the Levantine affirmative style, the style that confirm to your readers that you have thoroughly thought out your topic, that you have written several drafts, that you have regurgitated your positions in many scarp papers, and that all you need from your readers is their alternative opinions, positions, and their own personal experiences to round up the topic.

            I recommend for the next edition that Amine Malouf add an introductory introspective chapter and then let the ideas and arguments flow un-interrupted. He may as well add a brief introspection to the beginning of a chapter that reflects his shortcoming that are relevant to the chapter (for example scientific credentials) and permit the reader to focus on the topic.

            If Maalouf fails to re-edit his manuscript then I would be forced to re-write it under the title “The Bible of Global Problems: Global Resolutions”

 

 

 

 Malouf add an introductory introspective chapter and then let the ideas and arguments flow un-interrupted. He may as well add a brief introspection to the beginning of a chapter that reflects his shortcoming that are relevant to the chapter (for example scientific credentials) and permit the reader to focus on the topic. If Maalouf fails to re-edit his manuscript then I would be forced to re-write it under the title “The Bible of Global Problems: Global Resolutions” heir own personal experiences to round up the topic. I recommend for the next edition that Amine Malouf add an introductory introspective chapter and then let the ideas and arguments flow un-interrupted. He may as well add a brief introspection to the beginning of a chapter that reflects his shortcoming that are relevant to the chapter (for example scientific credentials) and permit the reader to focus on the topic. If Maalouf fails to re-edit his manuscript then I would be forced to re-write it under the title “The Bible of Global Problems: Global Resolutions”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

May 2009
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