Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 10th, 2009

What is the Meaning of Life?   

In a previous essay “Ideology: Not such a bad Concept before Ruling” I dealt with the notions of ideologies, philosophies, and religions: their purposes and structures. I ended the essay with the following paragraph:

“In many moments in life we ask “what is the meaning of and purpose in life?”   How about we start from the obvious?  We are a bunch of jumbled passions that we all share and that drive our life; we ache by reflection to re-order our passions and sort out the strongest passions that mean most to us. We want to be discriminated as an individual, not on physical traits but as thinking reflecting persons that have distinct set of strong passions that we manage to prioritize and focus; we finally think that we know who we are and what passions drove our life. We want to be at peace with our soul and spirit.”

When we claim that we are in an introspection phase then we are explicitly finding time to sort out the driving passions that were predictive of our life path.  We all have the same passions at various degrees of power and interest that no outside processes can change or transform unless we consciously act on them to redirect our focus.  Introspections are highly useful conscious periods in our life to comprehend the strongest of our passions and set priority for future activities.  Basically, we are adopting a philosophy to life that is compatible with our strongest passions.  That is what we constantly do: we are addicted to constructing models because we are spiritual designers.  We want to categorize our passions intellectually, by our volition and labor of reflection.

Most religions have to erect an ideology and sometimes slightly update it to face changes; the sacerdotal castes main job is to pressure you to accept their set values and morals as the best that characterize you.  In fact, religions do not want you to exercise introspection and learn your own characteristics; they want to “save you that hassle” and show you the proper way; they want you to be the man among all same men with preferred set of passions instead of realizing your individuality.  Only those following the preferred “type” are selected in heaven as on earth; the black sheep of strong individuality are not recognized in heaven because only the mediocre, the humble, the naïve, the simple minded can be saved.

 

That was a good starting lead to answering the meaning of life.  I have a question: if you were to chose between knowing the “truth” or safeguarding and preserving your conscious then what would you decide?   I know that you will try to circumvent this basic query by returning a question with another one such as “Isn’t conscious linked to truth searching?” or “Isn’t knowledge an illusion?”

If even scientific facts should be recognized as statistical facts because uncontrolled observations have the tendency to show up occasionally and need to be categorized, understood, and then modeled.  If justice is fundamentally a consensus agreement among the jury then why do we cling so staunchly to truth or “absolute fact”?  If “truth” is not reachable, if we know that any predictive model can be altered by surprised “chance” observations, if it is proven at every moment in our life that uncertainty is king and it loves to convince you at the most critical events, then why fight for truth and spread disorder for an illusion?  Our scientific and rational mind is fighting the good fight and is persistent in its endeavor because it refuses impositions of religious abstract notions that have no foundations or convincing premises. Our scientific mind is not fighting “faith” but fighting the sacerdotal castes’ value systems and ideologies.

What about conscious? We can define conscious by its consequences on our nerves, its wrenching battle through sleepless nights, and through nightmares.  Conscious is the constant fighting between imposed religious set values and your strong valid passions that define your individuality.  We are battling to preserve our rightful individuality in a manner that would not shock the community as “crazy behaviors”.  Most of the time we define conscious as how the community expect us to act and decide because religious belief system is enduring and hard to conciliate with.

 

You always have a choice: truth or conscious; and this dichotomy is not to vanish any time soon and you will have to select differently at many moments. This critical choice is our daily battle and our constant struggle to find meaning to our life.

 

By God, I hope that the set values imposed on me is the correct one.  I would hate after death to face up a reality that is not compatible with what I cowardly submitted to.  I would hate to be condemned for laziness in the mind or condemned for not acting according to my own labor of reflection. Justice is ultimately an individual case and what the community believed is totally irrelevant and redundant for supporting clemency.

Advertisements

What Secular States we mean?   

Note: This essay applies to all States, western, orient, animists, pagans, monotheists, secular, semi-secular, democratic, theocratic and other political systems.

 

In the sixties, Charles Malek, the philosopher and Lebanon’s representative to the United Nations proclaimed that Lebanon cannot survive as a State unless all Lebanese convert to Christianity.  Lately, the Moslem Sunni salafist proclaimed in 2006 that the State of Lebanon should be governed Caliphate style.  The Moslem Shiaas of Hezbollah want to establish the rule of the “Wilayat of Fakeeh”, an Ayatollah who would lead both the spiritual and political powers.

 

For example, the Christians during the civil war wanted to establish Christian cantons exclusively for the right wing Christian Lebanese since they over ran the Palestinian Christian camps and evacuated the lucky one from the massacre outside the Christian cantons. The Christians in the Levant have ground to be worried.  What Islam means by “Jihad” is in fact the right to proselytize Islam everywhere and all the time.  As if the western nations have not been carrying their own brand of “Jihad” since Medieval Age everywhere they wanted to colonize.  The Christians in the Levant have grounds to be apprehensive: the Christian sects have refrained from converting Moslems because conservative Islam sects demand as “halal” the blood shedding of the “blasphemous” re-converted Moslems.

The Moslem Sunni salafists in north Lebanon twice fought the Lebanese army within two years; hundreds of soldiers died and were handicapped for life. The Qaeda of Ussama Bin Laden has the same political objective with a twist; the Qaeda wants to establish the restrictive and ultra conservative Wahhabit sect as the essence of selecting Caliphates.  The Wahhabit sect is the one adopted by the Saudi Arabia theocratic monarchy.

In 1925, the Sunni Ali Abel Razzak wrote in his book “Islam and origin of governance” that “Islam is innocent of what the conservative Islam understands of the Caliphate.  The Caliphate was never in the religious planning, and neither were the religious judges nor any of the civil administrations in the government.  The Prophet Muhammad didn’t recognize them or order them or denied them.  The political and civil administrative issues were left to the Moslems to decide upon them.  Thus, it is proper that we engage our mind and consider the experience of nations, and the rules of politics that are the best around for our Nation.”

In Iran, Ayatollah Borojardy was detained because he wanted to separate States politics from religion, thus, resisting the “Fakeeh” concept of government. In Lebanon, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasr Allah, publicly harangued the Shiaa to considering “Wilayat al Fakeeh” as the official political system; and Nasr Allah is speaking as a clergy too and in every religious ceremony, blending religion with politics with resistance to the Zionist Apartheid State.

The State of Israel would like you to believe that a mythical leader they named Moses had a revelation by a superior being named Yahveh to conquer land by the sword and genocides for it was “promised” to the horde of tribes following him.  Thus, Israel would like to establish a Jewish theocratic State in Palestine.  It has been categorically proven that the Old Bible was initiated in the second century before Christ in Alexandria and then chapters were added many centuries later to and re-edited several times.

 

If you are nowadays following Lebanon’s politics and the preparations for the election in June 7 then you might have the impression that it is the political leaders of the sects who are manipulating the sacerdotal castes of our 18 officially recognized religious sects.  Don’t be fooled; ask any Lebanese and he will tell you that he is forced constitutionally to pay his first allegiance to his sect.  In fact, the sects were given the right to administer the civil status of its co-religionists from birth to death and the central government is totally helpless in interfering; even if any serious government  wishes to change it would never want problems to blow in its face..

 

My question for the western States’ citizens is: Do you believe that the separation of State and religion is implicitly a de facto reality?  Do you believe that religions have desisted from meddling in State affairs; that during voting periods the religious sacerdotal castes do not impress on the political climate? Do you believe that there is no religious backlash on religious minorities? Isn’t religion recognized in your constitutions?  Are not the civil administrative posts implicitly submitted to a quota system? I am sincerely worried about the practices of those hypocritical Secular States who force its minorities to submit to the litmus test on the ground of applying civil laws and regulations.

 

Personally, my position is that religious doctrines and stories are a bunch of hog wash nonsense of myths and abstract concepts that even zero IQ individuals refuse the premises.  The religious sacerdotal castes would like you to substitute you belief in a Creator from watching the cosmos and the mysteries of life into total faith in their particular ideological constructs and set of values.

 

I feel limited in finding a resolution where check and balance can be erected to cope with the all permeating power of the sacerdotal castes in every States around the world.  Constitutional laws need to be thought out to restrict the implicit power of the thousand tentacles that religions have instituted to infuse their ideologies.

One of the best and most efficient methods is to encourage the establishment of opportunities to exercising choices in every aspect in our lives from birth, decentralized schooling systems, kinds of marriages, legal divorce alternatives, and burial at each of the legislative, legal, and executive branches. Only available opportunities for choices, backed by political determination to honor those choices in the workforce, in the daily living, and in society structure, can permit a fighting chance for all those free minded and reflective citizens and families who respect their potential power for deciding what is best for their spiritual development.

 “An exercise for taxonomy of methods”

Article #14 in Human Factors

I am going to let you have a hand at classifying methods by providing a list of various methods that could be used in Industrial engineering, Human Factors, Ergonomics, and Industrial Psychology.

This first list of methods is organized in the sequence used to analyzing part of a system or a mission;

The second list is not necessarily randomized though thrown in without much order; otherwise it will not be an excellent exercise.

First, let us agree that a method is a procedure or a set of step by step process that our for runners of geniuses and scholars have tested, found it good, agreed on it on consensus basis and offered it for you to use for the benefit of progress and science.

Many of you will still try hard to find short cuts to anything, including methods, for the petty argument that the best criterion to discriminating among clever people is who waste time on methods and who are nerds.

Actually, the main reason I don’t try to teach many new methods in this course is that students might smack run into a real occupational stress which they are not immune of, especially that methods in human factors are complex and time consuming.

Here is this famous list of a few methods and you are to decide which ones are still in the conceptual phases and which have been “operationalized“.

The first list contains the following methods: operational analysis, activity analysis, critical incidents, function flow, decision/action, action/information analyses, functional allocation, task, fault tree, failure modes and effects analyses, time line, link analyses, simulation, controlled experimentation  operational sequence analysis, and workload assessment.

The second list is constituted of methods that human factors are trained to utilize if need be such as: verbal protocol, neural network, utility theory, preference judgments, psycho-physical methods, operational research, prototyping, information theory, cost/benefit methods, various statistical modeling packages, and expert systems.

Just wait, let me resume.

There are those that are intrinsic to artificial intelligence methodology such as: fuzzy logic, robotics, discrimination nets, pattern matching, knowledge representation, frames, schemata, semantic network, relational databases, searching methods, zero-sum games theory, logical reasoning methods, probabilistic reasoning, learning methods, natural language understanding, image formation and acquisition, connectedness, cellular logic, problem solving techniques, means-end analysis, geometric reasoning system, algebraic reasoning system.

If your education is multidisciplinary you may catalog the above methods according to specialty disciplines such as: artificial intelligence, robotics, econometrics, marketing, human factors, industrial engineering, other engineering majors, psychology or mathematics.

The most logical grouping is along the purpose, input, process/procedure, and output/product of the method, otherwise it would be impossible to define and understand any method.

Methods could be used to analyze systems, provide heuristic data about human performance, make predictions, generate subjective data, discover the cause and effects of the main factors, or evaluate the human-machine performance of products or systems.

The inputs could be qualitative or quantitative such as declarative data, categorical, or numerical generated from structured observations, records, interviews, questionnaires, computer generated or outputs from prior methods.

The outputs could be point data, behavioral trends, graphical in nature, context specific, generic, or reduction in alternatives.

The process could be a creative graphical or pictorial model, logical hierarchy or in network alternative, operational, empirical, informal, or systematic.

You may also group these methods according to their mathematical branches such as algebraic, probabilistic, or geometric.

You may collect them as to their deterministic, statistical sampling methods and probabilistic characters.

You may differentiate the methods as belonging to categorical, ordinal, discrete or continuous measurements.

You may wish to investigate the methods as parametric, non parametric, distribution free population or normally distributed.

You may separate them on their representation forms such as verbal, graphical, pictorial, or in table.

You may discriminate them on heuristic, observational, or experimental scientific values.

You may bundle these methods on qualitative or quantitative values.

You may as well separate them on their historical values or modern techniques based on newer technologies.

You may select them as to their state of the art methods such as ancient methods that new information and new paradigms have refuted their validity or recently developed.

You may define the methods as those digitally or analytically amenable for solving problems.

You may choose to draw several lists of those methods that are economically sounds, esoteric, or just plainly fuzzy sounding.

You may opt to differentiate these methods on requiring high level of mathematical reasoning that are out of your capability and those that can be comprehended through persistent efforts.

You could as well sort them according to which ones fit nicely into the courses that you have already taken, but failed to recollect that they were indeed methods worth acquiring for your career.

You may use any of these taxonomies to answer an optional exam question with no guarantees that you might get a substantial grade.

It would be interesting to collect statistics on how often these methods are being used, by whom, for what rational and by which line of business and by which universities.

It would be interesting to translate these methods into Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, or Russian.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

June 2009
M T W T F S S
« May   Jul »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Blog Stats

  • 1,346,267 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 690 other followers

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: