Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 2019

What are these ridiculous claims that we are an “Arabic” nation or an Islamic nation?

There are sections in Lebanon (mostly Christian Maronite) advancing the French mandatory alternative of a “Phoenician” ancestors.  Currently, there are Lebanese testing their blood for DNA evidences of any physical “Phoenician inheritance“. It appears, mostly the Lebanese living in south Lebanon have traces of Phoenician ancestry.

A few are wary that they won’t be found to have any Phoenician stain, strain and be caste off as “strangers”.  What a load of crap.

The Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean Sea in 1,200 BC and the string of their City-States (Byblos, Beirut, Saida, Tyre, Arwaad…) extended from southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, up to Haifa in Palestine.

The Phoenicians were famous for maritime trade and commerce and established many trading centers around the Sea, North Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Sicily, Greece and most islands.

The written language has been around for 3,000 years, but the Phoenicians in the City-State of Byblos are credited for inventing the alphabet (currently in use with slight modifications.)

Before the Phoenicians and afterward, the Near East region of the Mediterranean (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine) has been invaded by a dozen warrior empires, and many invaded us repeatedly.

For example, the empires in Iraq (Akkad, Babylon, Assyria), Egypt, Persia under various dynasties (at least four of them), Greece, Roman, Byzantium, Arabic, Ottoman, and finally the colonial powers of France and Britain.

All these warrior empires didn’t build anything worth showing as representative of civilization, until they invaded our region and rounded off and hoarded the educated and master craftsmen to their capitals.

We are a region of multiple identities if we have to rely on occupation empires.

How about we identify with education and craftsmanship?  I love this identity.

Let us focus on affordable efficient schooling system; let us encourage technical and craftsmanship schooling system; let us focus on building commercial ships; let us invest in railways and fast communication facilities; let us open up to knowledge facilities all over the world.

I love this identity; let us get to work and planning.

Another sections of Lebanese, mostly Muslim-Sunnis, would like to have an Arabic identity and pushing it too far to claiming that we are from the Arabic Peninsula. Are we Arabs?  What that means?

The Islamic “Arabic” army, led by Arabic nomadic Peninsula “generals”, which came to fight the Byzantium Empire and later the Persian Empire barely numbered 7,000 men of war.  The other three-forth of the army that backed and supplemented the “Arabic army” was constituted from people and tribes living in Syria, Iraq, and Jordan wanting to defeat the Byzantium unforgiving Orthodox Church and domination.

How can we be descendant of the sparsely populated Arabic Peninsula?

The “Arabic identity” group would claim that our culture and civilization is Islamic Arabic. How that?

The cultural development during the Arabic Empire was shouldered by the scholars in Syria, Iraq, and Iran and they were mostly Christians. They would like to rely on the Arabic language as basis for our identity.  Excellent idea.

Let us prove that the Arabic language is a viable foundation; let us infuse a new spirit in that dying language; let us translate the worthy manuscripts; let us invent new terms that have no religious connotation and spread the Arabic language as a universal language, valid to sustaining modern civilization with fresh brains and advanced sciences and technologies.  I will be for it and will support it vehemently.

There are other factions wanting to claim that we are Muslims.  How about the dozen minority religious sects?  Are we to agree on a theocratic identity?

Turkish Ataturk cancelled the caliphate in 1925 and there is no caliphate anymore, anywhere.  Tiny Lebanon has 19 recognized self-autonomous religious communities running our civil life.  Let us get real.

A theocratic State will never pass and will never find unity for identity.

Should we hide behind a reality of disparate communities to establish the concept of plurality community government?  Should 19 wrong identities constitute a valid identity?

What we need is to be unified under the banners of civil rights, human rights, sustainable environment, equitable and fair election laws and regulations, civil marriage, linked to fast communication technologies, access to social platforms, freedom of expression, laws not discriminating among genders, versatile opportunities to jobs and expertise, affordable education system, national health system…

What we need is to unify against any State invading our borders, bombing our infrastructure, humiliating us, destabilizing our society and economy.  

What we need is to unify against any political current that has proven to working against democratic representations, racial demagoguery, sectarian political ideology.

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Impressions from Bruges~

by ~mimo~

 

The greatest part of living in Europe is the proximity of different cities with their varied history and culture and if you enjoy photography and travel as I do, then magic is just a few hours away.

Now being back home in Germany, the short journey feels like a pleasant dream added to my visual diary of this amazing world we live in.

The greatest part of living in Europe is the proximity of different cities with their varied history and culture and if you enjoy photography and travel as I do, then magic is just a few hours away.

Now being back home in Germany, the short journey feels like a pleasant dream added to my visual diary of this amazing world we live in.

 

 

SURGERY WITHOUT ANESTHESIA

Can “Feeling good day” justify incompetence?

“My husband says a conversation with Dan is like surgery without anesthesia.” (During a birthday party for a long-time coaching client.)

People don’t tell leaders the truth. They imagine what you want to hear and tell you that. They want to:

  1. Protect feelings. Feeling good justifies incompetence – when feelings rule the day.
  2. Shield status, both yours and theirs. You don’t bring up the frailties of the queen to her face, especially if she signs your paycheck.
  3. Ingratiate themselves. Power invites groveling from those who seek personal advantage.
  4. Avoid conflict.

Conflict avoidance people:

#1. Change the subject.

When you ask a question, people answer a different question. You might ask, “Do you think I’m too blunt?” The answer, “I think you’re kind.”

#2. Ignore issues.

It’s easier to turn your head than to bring up a tough issue.

When was the last time a team member brought up YOUR poor performance?

#3. Withdraw.

The people you need to hear – front-line employees – are avoiding you.

The person with high position is responsible to move first. You go to them. They won’t come to you.

Self-surgery:

What are you NOT doing that might have negative consequences? Stop blaming and take responsibility.

What are you doing that makes it difficult for people to speak hard truths?

How might you seek input and feedback?

How has input from others caused you to adapt the way you think about yourself?

Illustration:

A coaching client shared what he planned to say to his board. When he was done, I said, “You’re better than that. Let’s try again.”

People rise to challenges.

Encouragement matters. But you go further if you occasionally hear hard truths.

What might leaders do to better hear the truth about themselves?

Bonus material:

The more people prepare for your visit, the more lies you hear. Everyone’s office is clean. The ‘little people’ smile and bow until you leave.

9 Things You Should Know About Liars (Science of People)

How to Tell if Someone is Lying to You, According to Body Language Experts (Time)

Tidbits and comments

Soil is being lost at a rate 10 to 100 times faster than it is being replenished.

Is it the end of the road for the Volkswagen Beetle? Victim of the growing SUV and crossover market?

A scientist baked bread with 5,000-year-old yeast found in ancient Egyptian ceramics. The yeast was more active, and the bread smelled like caramel.

From virtual reality, 3D printing to nanotechnology and advanced robotics, the line between the physical and digital worlds is blurring.

“With clowns you always laugh, and laughter is very beneficial in terms of letting people relax and accept whatever is coming their way. And then hope, because clowns fall, they stand up and try again, and there is always hope in whatever we do.”

In around 200 BC, a bunch of “Jewish scholars” decided to create a history for the bedwin Jews. They wrote an amalgamation of old stories of the neighboring people, along with a bunch of “prophets” and attributed to them a few sayings. Since then, millions are disseminating these myths and faked news on social media. Discussion is pointless with these current “scholars”

In 1860, Giovanni Caselli presents Napoleon III with the “pantelegraph“, the precursor to Fax Machine.” French and Russian leaders put it to use, but the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 destroys the telegraph lines.

“Japan ideograph language provided the demand for fax machine, and manufacturing expertise in consumer electronics provided the supply,” Jonathan Coopersmith, a historian at Texas A&M University, writes in Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine.

It’s the little compromises around people that we cannot function without, and that corrupt institutions add value to the what we seek to create.

Why the most brutal of Olympics sport, the boxing, doesn’t have sensors for scoring as Tak Wan Dou?
The 3 judges role would be to add a few points on fitness and techniques on the sky rocketing total score.

A black hole devoured a neutron star. For the first time, scientists have detected gravitational waves that may have originated from one such collision.

Late Milton Friedman wrote in the 1970s  argued that business leaders who talked about corporate social responsibility, ending discrimination, or curbing pollution were “preaching pure and unadulterated socialism.” His theory made shareholder primacy the rule for generations of executives, held that businesses only needed to fulfill their duty to provide profit to shareholders. Supposedly, Free markets would look after everything else. Except the free markets didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

This week, the Business Roundtable issued a new definition of the purpose of a company that places responsibilities to customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and the environment on par with the responsibility to shareholders.

Is the cult of productivity killing productivity? Is the cult of constant Growth killing a sustainable environment?

“Courage” is being adopted as a promotional quality for minimum-wage positions, like serving cheeseburgers?. Then, is there any job that would Not require courage to waste your time and energy on?

Whether Americans wish to admit it or not, the US continues to be shaped by the legacy of its slave trade, which began in 1619. Actually, the US colonies took arms against the British to keep their slave trade and laws.

Business Jargon

By Max Mallet, Brett Nelson and Chris Steiner

The next time you feel the need to reach out, touch base, shift a paradigm, leverage a best practice or join a tiger team, by all means do it.

Just don’t say you’re doing it.

If you have to ask why, chances are you’ve fallen under the poisonous spell of business jargon.

No longer solely the province of consultants, investors and business-school types, this annoying gobbledygook has mesmerized the rank and file around the globe.

Jargon masks real meaning,” says Jennifer Chatman, management professor at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “People use it as a substitute for thinking hard and clearly about their goals and the direction that they want to give others.”

To save you from yourself (and to keep your colleagues and customers from strangling you), we have assembled a cache of expressions to assiduously avoid.

Glossary: The Most Annoying Business Jargon

We also assembled a “Jargon Madness” bracket—similar to the NCAA college basketball tournament—featuring 32 abominable expressions.

Each day, for 32 days, readers will get to vote, via Twitter, on one matchup. The goal: to identify the single most annoying example of business jargon and thoroughly embarrass all who employ it and all of those other ridiculous terms, too.

In the meantime, here are some of the worst offenders Forbes has identified over the years. For a full list of 45, click here.

Core Competency

This awful expression refers to a firm’s or a person’s fundamental strength—even though that’s not what the word “competent” means.

“This bothers me because it is just a silly phrase when you think about it,” says Bruce Barry, professor of management at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Business. “Do people talk about peripheral competency?  Being competent is not the standard we’re seeking.  It’s like core mediocrity.”

Buy-In

This means agreement on a course of action, if the most disingenuous kind. Notes David Logan, professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business:

“Asking for someone’s ‘buy-in’ says, ‘I have an idea.  I didn’t involve you because I didn’t value you enough to discuss it with you.  I want you to embrace it as if you were in on it from the beginning, because that would make me feel really good.’”

S.W.A.T. Team

In law enforcement, this term refers to teams of fit men and women who put themselves in danger to keep people safe. “In business, it means a group of ‘experts’ (often fat guys in suits) assembled to solve a problem or tackle an opportunity” says USC’s Logan. An apt comparison, if you’re a fat guy in a suit.

I had a colleague at a recent job that used pretty much all of these expressions. The missing term here is “added value,” which is to say that we could do something of value, but through the subjective judgement of a boss, it’s not valuable enough to justify doing something. It’s a passive-aggressive way of telling somebody, “I’m the boss and you’re not going to work on that,” without having to own up to it.

Check out the results of our Forbes “Jargon Madness” bracket.

The precarious existence of human species

A few conditions for the emergence of our species.

Observers have identified two dozen fortunate breaks we have had on Earth to create just the living organism. Not to mention the hundreds of conditions for the formation of human species that is Not within this scope.

If the Sun was larger, it would have exhausted its fuel before Earth could be formed because the larger the star the more rapidly it burns.

If we were two light minutes closer to the Sun we would be like planet Venus that cannot sustain life; Venus surface temperature is 470 degrees Celsius and all its water has evaporated driving hydrogen away into space.

If we were 1% further from the Sun we would be like frozen Mars.

If our core didn’t contain molten liquid we would not have magnetism to protect us from cosmic rays.

If our tectonic plates didn’t collide to produce more gases and continually renew and rumple the surface with mountains then we would be under 4,000 meters of water.

If our moon was not large enough, one fourth the size of Earth, then Earth would be wobbling like a dying top with unstable climate and weather. It is to be noted that the Moon is slipping away at a rate of 4 centimeters a year, relinquishing its gravitational hold.

If comets didn’t strike Earth to produce the Moon or asteroid to wipe out the Dinosaurs, or

If we didn’t enjoy enough stability for a long time, human would not be what they are.

The critical mind of Voltaire could summarize an entire philosophical book into a sentence

I just read a tiny story called “Micromegas” of 15 pages that condensed Voltaire highly critical mind.

In short, two men from far away stellar systems, both at least a mile tall and can live over 10,000 years and are endowed with 3 dozen sensory organs… and still Not satisfied and banned from their huge planet, still worried about the nature of their souls…). They haphazardly landed on earth, after boarding comets and earth arboreal light.

They had to look into a microscope to discover that these insects of humans do exist. The two men are interested in figuring out if these “insects” have soul and how different is their understanding of what is “The soul”.

At first, the giants were convinced that earth had no living creatures since they walked it quickly and crossed its shallow oceans without seeing anything that moves.

Actually the giants comprehended French but Not Greek to communicate with these French adventures in the North pole.

The giants discovered that these human insects have vast knowledge in geometry, algebra, and enough adequate instrument to measure their length and the circumference of earth and the distance to the sun…

“Since you know many things of what is external to you, how good are you in knowing what’s inside you?

One French in the boat described the state of human cruelty, of the perpetual wars among the human. Thousands in turbans, under a Sultan who never stepped out of his palace, massacre and burn villages of thousands of soldiers in metal headgear, under another king named Caesar or King and with different religious mythical ideology. And vice versa.

These human Princes are meant to eradicate the human species. Wars that will kill far more humans from famine and diseases for a piece of muddy land. Those barbarous urban oligarchies, who have never knew or seen who is being killed, keep thanking their Gods for their war achievement.

On the definitions of the Soul of a few philosophers of the period, such as Descartes, Leibniz, Locke…

One philosopher mentions Aristotle and his “entelechie”, a reason that extends the power to exist as is, and he quotes in Greek the definition, a language he doesn’t master, but he has to quote in order to impress.

The Descartes disciple claims that the soul is a pure spirit that is formed in the womb, but the person loses its meaning as he starts attending schools. It is then useless to have a soul if we end up totally ignorant about it, as we go on living. “And what you say about the spirit?” It is Not matter that can be divided and measured and described… “You can describe a few attributes of a matter, but do you know the deepest structure of any matter and the consequences of lacking of it?”

A Malebranche disciple claims that it is God that thinks and do everything for him and he doesn’t have to worry about anything. “Then there is no point for your existence”.

A disciple of the British Locke said: “I think only at the instigation of my senses. That there are immaterial and intelligent substances, I have no doubts about them. I hardly doubt that it is impossible for God can communicate spirit to material elements, if He wishes it. I contend that there are far more possible events that can occur and which I cannot think about or fathom…”

Among these insects, there was someone wearing a square bonnet (a Jesuit?) who vehemently repeated St. Thomas claim in the “Somme”:” Every thing in the sky and on earth were created for the humans”. The giants laughed their heart out and had a great moment on hearing this.

The giant from star Sirius decided to write a philosophical book, with as small characters as it was possible for him to reduce, and offered it to the human insects. The scholars at Paris Academy opened the book and discovered it was mostly blank.

Note: I will be reading Zadig by Voltaire and might review this other short story.

 


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2019
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