Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 15th, 2009

Criminal Conditions (February 16, 2009)

            In critical situations of death (suicide or killing others) two main conditions have to exist.  The first basic condition is a physical material one (health problems or financial miseries, or both).  The second complementary condition is an idealistic spiritual motivator (revenge, dignity, freedom, and so forth).  As the material condition persists in being bad then the spiritual factor develop in focus, in target, and in planning.  Committing a crime is not easy at all because you need a network of supporting elements; you need the arm, the close friends’ network, the social and cultural environments, and you need the target to be frequently available.  Even what we always label as “crazies” need a support system to carry out their crime.

The spiritual motivator always comes in second in the chronology of a crime but it quickly takes a life of its own and over shadow the fundamental source of the germinating idea.  There is this special case where the criminal is dirty rich and yet commit crimes; but we always forget to dig a little in his past before he became rich and how he started his trip to riches, and how he built his support system.

            There are ways to deflect the soaring spiritual emotion.  First, the material condition is altered temporarily and the second factor is temporarily slowed down on its track because it failed to gel in focus and target.  Second, the material base is not changed but the spiritual motivator is redirected to financial crimes.  Third, the supporting environment and elements are altered in recognition of the danger and a heightened climate of vigilance may deter a criminal plan.

            It really takes a little to change the material condition to deflect the whole process.  The potential criminal can be encouraged to ask or “knock on doors” and is shown the techniques for demanding the basic necessities for physical survival, mainly finding a decent and feasible job. The potential criminal can be treated for his recurring health problems that are not fictitious; though many of these health problems could be a fiction of the imagination for lack of a yearly thorough general examination caused by a deficient preventive health system to all the citizens.

            It really takes a little to change the supporting environmental/social conditions to deflect a crime in the planning stage.  Removing one of the numerous elements or tools in the supporting network can deviate a criminal act.  Benevolent or charitable support groups can play a catalyst for behavioral change.  A community in a town or district can shoulder many responsibilities when decently funded for social activities.

            It really takes a lot to de-focus a planned criminal act once it gelled in specific targets and means.  They say human is forgetful and that is why he manages to survive all the traumas. The fact is, even when the far advanced “spiritual factor” has been tamed, it only takes a simple cue in this tumultuous life to re-activate a matured plan.

            I might have been describing individual cases but it easily extends to genocide of whole peoples like the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, the Lebanese, the Iraqis, the Afghanistanis, and all the people who have been subjugated to miseries and apartheid policies.  This is a reminder that the West should not be surprised for revenge activities for a long time, activities that would be labeled “terrorists”.

Police inspectors and investigators in criminal acts have mapped a coherent taxonomy for “individual crimes”. Social and human sciences lack coherent taxonomies for social crimes that reporters and media businesses need to know and learn in their coverage of their “bad news”.  It is up to the audio-visual reporters in the front line to taking seriously their jobs in order for society to be exposed to the fundamentals of criminal behaviors and the many facets and conditions of criminal activities.

You can now live very long: what are your plans for old age? (February 14, 2009)

            With the current progress in the medical field you can prolong your life 150 years.  If you can afford it then there are no major barriers to live very old and functional too with a basic sane body.  The gene for longevity was discovered in 1998; the cell was extracted from a bacterium that can withstand massive doses of irradiation, heat, cold and then can reconstruct its ADN. 

After fifty the outer membrane of your eye is no longer supple; then you can replace it; it is a very common operation. At the age of 110 the aorta has to be replaced; it is done frequently.  At the age of 150 your skin is totally useless; then collagen is injected; actually you don’t have to wait that long; the injections are performed in young bodies.  Like an old car, new organs (or spare parts) are transplanted; it is done already with countless organs and even produced in laboratory from cell stumps.

There are on the market many hormones targeted for longevity such as growth hormone EPO, melatonin, Viagra, and the hormone DHEA for longevity; all of these hormones are secreted by the glands but they can be artificially produced to supplement the aging body.

I would be curious to know the variety of alternatives for padding your spare time when you grow old, functional and relatively sane, bodily and mentally. Send me your plans; let them be imaginative.  Your plans don’t have to be so damned practical to correspond to our current conditions of aging since the remedies are already available.

I wish in my old age to have a team of helpers visit me once a week, all the team on the same day so that I might reserve the week for my activities and reflections in solitude. This team should bring all the essential provision for a week, just enough to survive because I need to feel short on provision by the end of the week and keep struggling with the survival process; that is a sure way of keeping alive and balanced.  This team will maintain and repair the house and do paperwork or administrative tasks.  I guess all elder people are not to be bothered with driving and hitting the various administrations; they have done their share of stupid slave work.

In my old age, all that I want to do during the week is be able to see; read, write, and publish; I don’t mind having good hearing: that would be a blessed bonus. I would also follow the news and see movies on cables.  It would be nice to have my relatives, nieces, and nephews to visit me occasionally when they need a listening ear: it is always great to recollect the troubles of youth and their struggle for life.  I would like to be invited for a swim or to a skiing resort so that I can refresh my visuals of the newer activities of youth.

Article #18, April 14, 2005

“What does this general course in Human Factors cover?”

One course in Human Factors is offered in the school of engineering and architecture. 

It is a required course for industrial engineers in order to satisfy the accreditation requirements in some of the USA universities.

I am under the impression that no professor, associate or assistant professor in the university has taken a single Human Factors course.

Before I was asked to teach this course a mechanical engineering associate professor tried his hand at it for may be one or two semesters. 

Apparently it was a nightmare for him and preferred to concentrate on the environmental aspects in the workplaces: namely, noise, lighting, heat and temperature.

These topics were very much in the liking of the students and the teacher. 

They were convenient since they fitted nicely within general engineering topics with plenty of computation and quantitative sources.

These topics could as well give an engineering impact to match the name of the course Human Factors in “Engineering”.

This fact was impressed on the chairman of the department and for many years considered the environmental factors to be the sin qua of the Human Factors discipline.

I admit that as a part-timer my public relation was poor and I had fleeting contact with the full timers and did not try hard to educate the concerned parties to the other facets of the discipline. 

I also admit that the Human Factors professionals failed in sending the right message to the engineering practitioners.

Originally, the Human Factors association comprised also industrial psychologists and ergonomics professionals. 

Many colleagues were more interested in basic research and new methods that did not target directly the engineering practitioners.

Most of the research papers were evaluation of already outdated inventions and could not keep pace with the new technologies dumped on the market.

In the 90’s a few professionals sounded the alarm and tried to redirect the focus for the research papers; they explicitly emphasized that Human Factors is a design profession and mainly designing interfaces between complex systems and end users.

The end users could be operators, workers, employees, engineers or consumers of products.

The purpose of these designed interfaces was to permit ease of use, efficient and comfortable use for long duration, safe usage in a healthy environment.

These practical professionals insisted that research papers should be oriented toward practical engineering demands for readily available data that could be applied in designing systems that fit human operators within their capabilities and limitations.

I put together a course material of a thousand pages.

It is a terrible nightmare for students who practically never read but nevertheless they should be skilled in circumventing arduous hurdles in learning.

The materials were divided in four parts: part one is called basics in designing for people, part two is named physical applications and methods, part three is about the environmental and organizational factors in workplaces and part four covers the cognitive(mental) applications and methods.

In our age of information processing and communication the cognitive aspects (memory, idiosyncrasies, reasoning, problem solving, decision making, and psychophysical measurements among others) of Human Factors interface designs should be allocated a course by itself but it is not bad to try every year asking to add a follow up optional Human Factors course.




June 2009

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