Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 25th, 2020

Short attention span and serving silver bullet solutions that cure diseases? Who should we blame?

Is It  the culture that pushes for readily packaged success stories?

Mirvat El-Sibai posted on FB. August 28, 2016 

When i was doing my PhD i used to start my day in lab around 10 a.m. and on many days stay till 3 or 4 in the morning with a couple of hours break during the day..

i routinely sat on the microscope 8 hours straight throughout the night till I developed a permanent slouch.. and still couldn’t wait to go home to analyze the data..

If I came home early it was to catch up on some papers or to prepare a presentation write a paper or my thesis etc..

We used to work weekend, holidays, and we were always in the business of learning and never questioned our advisors and were happy to pay our dues..

Our students today ask for more grades even if they don’t deserve it and i find that lack of self worth very troubling..

it is a sweep under the rug mentality that aims for cheap lazy results

Students today learn a technique and produce a figure and start asking about publications..

They teach a lab and start asking about a permanent position..

They read a paper and start questioning models..

Ambition is great but humility and patience are paramount to actual learning, particularly in science..

I don’t blame it all on our students though..

It is the culture that pushes for readily packaged success stories and quick short attention span, serving silver bullet solutions that cure diseases..

It is also social media

Note 1: For reasons, Not all of them fully justifiable, the medical students undergo harsh schedule and procedure that punish the students more than other fields of study. For example, focusing on a microscope for hours on would turn me blind. And this habit of waking up earlier than birds, as if everyone of them is going to opt to become a surgeon.

Note 2: I suffered immensely during my PhD program, particularly how to pay the tuition and trying to circumvent a few rules by auditing courses.

You may read my uneasiness in my Autobiography category “Not of a famous person”.

In my teaching experience in Lebanon I was very disappointed: I had to invent and change my teaching methods, even during a semester, to excite and give incentives for university students to study, read and do meaningful research. You may discover my methods in my Human Factors in Engineering category on wordpress.com

Note 3: Social platforms may contribute to laziness in students Not motivated in the first place. But these platforms are wonderful resources for reflective minds. This trend of copy/pasting “research papers” that are Not even peer-reviewed, pressured me to demand that all submitted homework be handwritten. Kind at least they had to read something.

Prayer to Beirut by Lebanese Amin Maalouf (French Academy)

The English translation follows

La prière d’ Amin Maalouf

De Beyrouth, capitale blessée,
Une prière vers le Ciel,
Quelle que soit la langue dans laquelle on Le prie,
Quel que soit le nom par lequel on L’invoque,

Que Son regard,
Qui embrasse l’univers et toutes les créatures,
Se fixe un peu sur nous.

Depuis trop longtemps nous expions
Les fautes de l’humanité entière,
En plus de nos propres égarements.

Depuis trop longtemps, chaque malheur,
Avant de se propager dans le monde,
Commence par s’acharner sur nous.

De cette ville tant de fois détruite,
Reconstruite, puis détruite à nouveau,
De ce rivage où, selon les légendes,
Un homme libre a su jadis terrasser le dragon,
Une prière vers le Ciel.

Pour que le Liban puisse,
Cette fois encore, se remettre debout,
Et relever ses murs, et panser ses blessures.

Qu’il sache surmonter sa détresse,
Sa douleur et son abattement.

Qu’il sache triompher
De la férocité du monde,
Et aussi de ses propres démons.

De notre havre millénaire devenu, soudain,
Un monument à la folie des hommes
Et le temple de leur colère,
Une prière vers le Ciel.

(

From Beirut, injured capital,
A prayer to heaven,
Whatever language we pray to Him,
Whatever name is called to Him,

That his look,
Who embrace the universe and all creatures,
Fixing a little on us.
For too long we’ve been expiring
The faults of all humanity,
In addition to our own misguidedness.
For too long, every misfortune,
Before spreading into the world,
Start by trying hard on us.

From this city so many times destroyed,
Rebuilt, then destroyed again,
From this shore where, according to legends,
A free man once knew how to terrass the dragon,
A prayer towards heaven.

So that Lebanon can,
That time again, get back up,
And lift her walls, and dress her wounds.
Let him overcome his distress,
His pain and abatement.
Let him triumph
From the fiercity of the world,
And also of his own demons.

From our millennial haven, suddenly,
A monument to the madness of men
And the temple of their wrath,
A prayer towards heaven.)

Palestinians demand an independent State in Palestine: Cannot buy the alternative

The Trump administration has been working hard to establish Israel as the only viable State in the Middle-East to dialogue with. A few Gulf Emirate States have been coaxed to sign a dubious “peace treaty” with Israel, like Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

The funny part is that the representatives of these 2 semi-States behaved as totally ignorant on what they are signing with Trump.

Egypt and Jordan had signed a treaty in 1974-75 which resulted in countless wars and civil wars in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

‘NYT’ coverage of Trump peace plan news quotes 5 pro-Israel voices, 0 Palestinians

Media Analysis

 on 

The New York Times covers phase one of the Trump peace plan, an economic “workshop” in Bahrain next month at which the administration is expected to dangle the money it wants to give Palestinians and states neighboring Israel, so that Palestinians will sacrifice their political demands/rights (among them sovereignty on ’67 borders; return of refugees; shared Jerusalem)– a figure said to be $68 billion.

The article quotes No Palestinians. (No Palestinian business person will attend this faked “workshop”)

It does include quotes from Aaron David Miller, Jared Kushner, Robert Satloff, Treasury’s Steve Mnuchin, and Brookings pundit Tamara Cofman Wittes. Five (Jewish) Americans, all five of them strong supporters of Israel. (Mnuchin’s background is here.)

Satloff, Wittes, and Miller are all presented as “critics” of the plan, but they are all Zionist critics of the plan. Just different shades of Zionist.(No, not shade. Stauncher Zionists than most Israelis)

Why? This is racism in journalism before your eyes.

The Times clearly has a structural bias against Palestinians. (As all colonial powers’ administrations in the last century)

Even as it demonstrates its higher consciousness in other left zones, the newspaper is stuck in the old paradigm on Israel.

How else could a newspaper publish four justifications of the killings of nonviolent protesters inside of a few months, as it did last year in Gaza?

This would never happen in any other context when a government opens fire on demonstrators.

But the Times columnists offered those justifications, in Shmuel Rosner’s case almost a bloodthirsty one, and there was no balance, let alone criticism from the Roger Cohens, David Brookses, and Michelle Goldbergs of the world.

Palestinians simply don’t count as full human actors.

The Palestinian Prime Minister released a statement rejecting the economic summit today.

He and his cabinet surely were available yesterday. So was Sam Bahour, who writes that Palestine cannot have an economic future without an independent political future, in which construction workers and university graduates will be able to find employment inside a Palestinian state.

Diana Buttu, Saeb Erekat, Hanan Ashrawi (who has been denied a visa to travel to the U.S.), Omar Barghouti, Mustafa Barghouti, Haider Eid surely would have spoken to the Times, too.

Palestine is truly teeming with sophisticated political actors on a wide range who would have something to say about the implausibility of economic peace.

And if the Times says this was an American politics piece, well, there are Palestinians here, too, who have a lot to say.

The bottom line is obvious and disturbing. Palestinians aren’t equals.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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