Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 2nd, 2011

Session 2 of TEDxBeirut: “From limitation to Inspiration”

My previous post on Session One was “Inspiration regardless of lack of limitations”.  I decided to be a tad generous today.

Note: You may read detailed info on 8 speakers on this post

Session 2

Sessions 2 and 3 were more inspiring. Still, the speakers didn’t exhibit great limitations to inspire us even more.

After the coffe-break at 11:40, a TEDx speaker was displayed on the vast screen.  Mat Cutt? was haranguing audience to adopting small sustainable changes for 30 days, such as trying to write enough every day to finally producing a novel of 50,000 words in 30 day.  The novel is a start, but you may claim to be an author…You might bike to work for a month and experience the changes in your work habit, or taking a single picture every day…

Ali Jaber, MBC’s director, took the stage at 12:20 (read details in the previous link).  Ali said that the Arab States have 1,100 TV stations with operating cost of over $ billion and generating $5.5 billion in ads…Ali was behind the project of acceding to 100 MBites for the students of the Arab American University in Dubai.  The university is linked to 148 US universities via internet and the students (70% enjoying grants) can follow varieties of courses on-line.

Ali Jaber is the only speaker, so far, who answered my request for feedback to the link I have emailed him.  This failure in responses prompted me to prepare an article titled “Culture of contempt: Misplacement in comprehending personal failure?”

Mazen Hajjar, a beer brewer, talked at 12:38.  He said that civilization used barley 9,000 years ago to make beer, while using barley for baking bread is just 3,000 years old.   In Europe, people drank beer because water was demonstrated not to be safe for drinking and caused illness.  Mazen explained 3 guideline to better tasting beer:

First,beer must be bottled in dark color glasses: light ruins the flavor and taste

Second, pour beer in a glass for full inhalation of aroma,

Third, keep beer warm for a better taste; better, drink it warm…I tasted Mazen’s beer at lunch break and liked it.
Clara Sfeir improvised a dance performance at (12:48).  Liliane Chlela produced and played the music for the dance.

Joanna Choukeir Hojeili talked at 1:00 pm. (Read link for further details on Joanna).  She talked about her idea “Imagination Studio”, a workshop planned for 30 youth who answered her innovative interview methods on October 1st.  The youth are from different Lebanese background, location, religion, culture…

The next day, Joanna received the all of 40 volunteer experts and professionals to aid in making the workshop a success. The workshop is to allow the youth of coming up with a practical project to implement as a collective group. Details on the outcome of the workshop is to transpire within 3 weeks.

Reine Abbas spoke at 1:11 pm. The story is Reine and her husband were driving and were caught in between two mass demonstrations, blocking the road, and putting fire on tires.  This terrifying event catalyzed Reine into designing a video game Douma.  Now, you may shoot at politicians and sectarian leader, using a vast array of fire arms. Within a couple of days, 12,000 tried the video game.

Reine had to resolve this dangerous societal trend: First, how to react to violence; second, how to keep kids off the streets; and having a good understanding of Lebanon’s “leaders”

Bassam Jalgha talked at 1:20.  He was wondering why we have no car manufacturing facilities…He learned to play on the OUD, an Arabic traditional musical instrument when he was 12, but he could not tune it.  Now, he invented an equipment for tuning his Oud. It took Bassam two years to develop that instrument for lack of appropriate hi-tech spare parts.  He went on to tune the oud and play a piece.

Gilber Doumit talked at 1:30.  He tried to explain politically engaged activist entrepreneurship… Sort of researching, packaging, and negotiating social and governmental programs..  Do I have a purpose in life? Can I influence on system level? How to negotiate responsibly, by adapting to government requirement, and pragmatically influencing political programs?

We adjourned for lunch break.  The menu didn’t change much: Croissant in varieties of forms and shapes, bouchees of meat, cheese, juices, Nescafe, beer, but no vegetables or fruits. I know several vegan and vegetarian people who were dying of hunger. Time to be flexible and adaptive to fast culinary requirement and exigencies…In any case, the third session, after lunch and no siesta, is usually doomed to be more on the dosing side, regardless of how inspirational a speaker is.  Sort of the speaker must learn clowning to attracting attention first…

Is developing a working system: An obsession to be productive?

Do you start developing a working system for your enterprise before you start producing anything, or working out a system is a consequence to this urge of being more efficient in order to making profit, and increasing profit, and reviewing the system in order to generating more profit…?

Is developing a system a modern mania of mankind, an acquired tradition generated by colonial powers since the 16th century in order to abusing the indigenous people, the most efficiently way possible?  Is developing a system a consequence of how our acquired brain structure developed in order to reducing chaotic phenomena in our knowledge of living nature?

Mankind has suffered greatly, since the 19th century, of centralized dicta of modern States, trying to homogenize the concept of “civilization” and reducing differences in ethnicity culture and custom in order to have an efficient State system functioning with the least of uncertainty through various efficient control systems…Catholic religious centralized hegemony for over 11 centuries has left its mark on how western societies should govern…Communism, Nazism, Fascism, and Capitalism ideological systems are alike in their quest for central control over communities…

Do you think that efficient working system is not synonymous to efficient control system? Basically, a system is be applied on people, working people, and consequently, it is mankind that is to be submitted to any man-made system.Don’t you feel that obsession to productivity is basically an implicit obsession on how to exploit workers? has a say in why we tend to develop a working system.  He wrote:

“Have you ever been obsessed with being productive to the extent that you sabotage yourself?

You spend all your time researching, optimizing, and coming up with new ways to be more productive. This goes on to the point where you realize that you’re not getting any work done.

And the funny thing is, you develop a system that allows you to work more productively, but… As soon as you have the system, you’re still not working. Since you’re not working, you can’t test the system. So you put it aside and don’t use it.

You then get frustrated that you are not working. You look back to see what was the last time you did something that made you feel good. You say to yourself: “Oh! I need a system that makes me productive!”…And the cycle starts again.”(End of quote)

The cycle for finding more efficient control systems recurs every time a slight change in governing mentality takes hold on the spirit of communities.  Nothing fundamental is altered in the control system, but a new governing power, regardless of political structure and ideology, thinks that it is in the nature of things to have their own brand of control system…

Don’t you have this strong impression that most civil servant jobs are directed at controlling society? Private enterprises have assimilated this mentality by osmosis, and instead of trusting workers and employees to focusing on producing, they invest too much time on discovering ways to controlling the work force.  Mankind is unable to produce effectively because they are tide down with controlling systems that blocked their mind and sidetracked the best method for survival: Mainly, get to work.

Keep working and producing: It is the sustained process of working that generates the most appropriate personal system.  Experts in developing systems are generally “non-producing” people and their systems are fundamentally based on abstract notions, meant to “benefit” mankind at large! How stupid.

It is a most exciting job to be asked to developing systems that controls mankind…Nobody is about to refuse these exciting tasks, when opportunity knocks.

I have problem with this pervasive term of DESIGN.  Designing was reserved to the engineering fields: One project at a time, meant to satisfy the safety, health, comfort…of the client…Design has taken implicitly the connotation of developing control system.  Some one design a system that works adequately for his line of work and he has to extrapolate into thinking: “It works fine for me, and it must necessarily function well with good intentioned clients…”




October 2011

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