Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Diaries’ Category

Colonial powers assignment for the “Arab” States leaders? And the people pay the price

Posted on June 3, 2010

During the “Cold War” period, the US administrations would select the main dish to cook and prepare the ingredients; Russia would then set the fire under the pan; Europe would cool off  the plate; Israel would eat the main course.  

The “Arab” States had the role of washing the dishes for the next feast of horrors and defeats.

During US global hegemony after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, all these haphazard “Independent States” sprouted in the continents to become markets for the US-based international conglomerates in transferring/shuffling “financial” paper money, with multiple financial crisis.

Two decades after after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, it is China selecting the strategic regions to exploit; then it is the turn of the US to bring in the matches; the European Union reaps the problems and extends grants to developing States and sends in the Blue Helmets to keep the peace.

India, Brazil, Russia , and Turkey waited to capture the investments of surplus money.  

This time around, Israel is teaming up with “Moderate Arab States” to wash the dishes.  

Iran refuses to wash dishes: it contributes soap and detergents to whom is willing to scrap, wash and clean the mess.

After WW2, the US was master of seas and oceans; it nuked Japan twice to accelerate Japan’s surrender: Stalin of the Soviet Union had already entered Manchuria and was progressing to conquer all of Korea.

The US got hold of Japan and South Korea; Russia got North Korea.  

In 1949, Mao of China conquered Tibet (source of all major rivers in India, China, and South-East Asia); the US failed to obstruct China’s expansion and Stalin got upset of US alignment with China. Stalin decided to capture all of Korea.  The US resisted and paid the tab in soldiers, weapons, and money for many years to save South Korea.  Finally, China is controlling North Korea via figure heads.

After WW2, the US launched many pre-emptive wars around the globe under the pretext of “containing the spread of communism” and grabbed all the European colonies.  

The Soviet Union backed “national resistance” to imperialism with inexpensive weapons.  

The “underdeveloped” third world States got independence and Russia won their hearts and mind, but not their stomachs:  Russia was unable to extend finances to these famished new independent States.

The US made it a policy to destabilize all these new States with military coups and braking any economic and social development.

During the reign of the Soviet Union, there were many “progressist” movements siding with either Russia, China, or other communist systems against the common enemy “emperialist capitalist America”.  

The US and Russia divided the spoil of the world after burning the lands, forests, and people of the third world States.

After the fall of Berlin Wall, China is masterfully juggling with capitalism, socialism, and communism ideologies as tools for economic hegemony.  

The US is impotent in regulating and controlling the havoc resulting from the unruly multinational financial institutions.  

The EU is paying the tabs as usual.  

India, Brazil, Russia, and Turkey are enjoying the roles of mediators, negotiators, and recipients in the G20 group.  All other states are paid minimum wages for cleaning up this global mess.

Note: After US Bush Jr. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the upheaval of a few people in the “Arab” States like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya… world geopolitical conditions changed, but the “Arab” States got worse, politically, economically and socially.

Mind you that major wars are conducted on weaker nation Lands. It is the people that have to endure the calamities.

What Mortal Sins Did the Syrian Regime Commit?

Posted on October 24, 2008 and written n March 9, 2005

Mind you that this article/report was written in 2005

At this phase of the struggle, the “million Lebanese citizens” who gathered in Riad Solh Square to thank Syria for the peace and stability that Lebanon enjoyed for 15 years are No different than the thousands who demonstrated for weeks in the Martyrs’ Square demanding freedom, self determination and independence from Syria.  

They all waved the Lebanese Flag!

Syria should have gotten the clear message all the way, but it seems that a one party regime is not flexible or trained enough to recognize the deep feelings that the Lebanese are expressing.

Apparently, the Syrian regime is pressured into such a tight corner that it is happy to hold on rhetoric at the tip of the iceberg and fool itself into going back to doing business as usual.  

Not only President Lahoud is rejecting the opposition demands for the resignation of the heads of all security and intelligence services, but he is trying to mindlessly force a prime minister into our throats who resigned under the “pressure” of the people.  

If the opposition is not willing to desist on its demands and throw away its legitimate victory by the people, why would the President commit the worst sin a serious politician shouldn’t attempt to do? 

Does the President want to sacrifice himself for Lebanon by being ejected in a grand way in order for Lebanon to demonstrate its self determination by acting in a grand way as a proof of its legitimate and rightful stubbornness?  

If the President declares his recognition of the dangerous path he is taking, then Lebanon would thank him immeasurably and anoint him as the most heroic and patriotic president so far.

Unfortunately, I lean toward the notion that the President is taking a petty stand that would inevitably destroy whatever achievement he might have claimed.

And Lahoud achieved a lot in forcing Israel to withdraw, without conditions, from the southern territories it occupied for 23 years. and he restrained late Rafic Hariri PM from privatizing most public institutions at very low prices, especially public utility and communication.

Across the border there is a one party regime that has been “enslaving” 17 million Syrians for over 50 years under slight variations. Such a dinosaur is not expected to change behavior in a peaceful process.  

The damaging mistake the Syrian regime committed is to try governing a people across the other border that experienced extreme freedom, an understanding of freedom that goes as far as committing the worst crimes and slaughters in the name of the “freedom to kill a fellow citizen” on the basis of his identity card for sectarian reasons.  

Please, don’t give me any slacks and try offering lame excuses that the 200 thousands Lebanese were killed by foreign elements during our civil war! No, they were assassinated and transferred by local sectarian militias.

Instead of acting vigorously to implement all the articles in the Taif agreement, the Syrian regime was sitting comfortably in Lebanon and waiting for the USA to remove its cover over its tutelage in Lebanon before reacting accordingly.  

Obviously, a democratic state that value human rights and freedom of expression would have come to reason, long before the international community reminds it to its responsibilities.  

There are no doubt that dozen of humongous rodents in Lebanon and Syria, current opposition leaders and allies to Syria, in tandem, and forming efficient and ruthless mafias were happily nibbling viciously at our public funds.  

There is no doubt that these easy and uncontrolled machinations for grand thefts were a major factor for this lengthy stay in Lebanon and our humiliating situation.

The old guards of the one party regime got lost in our Ali Baba cave and didn’t listen to storms and changing political climate forming outside.

Yes, the Lebanese citizens paid twice for every service they received with extreme difficulty: we paid twice for electricity, for water and for communication facilities.

We overpaid for everything we purchased that was controlled by the government.

Lebanon is the costliest country, not only among the surrounding Arab States but in the world.  

All the $45 billion debt (at the time of writing the article) that financial institutions (local and foreign) were glad to lend our governments would require more than two generation to wipe out.  (From 2005 to 2020, this debt reached $200 bn), in this State that import almost everything and has nothing much to export)

What did Lebanon receive in return for a debt that would have reconstructed Germany after the war? 

A “Reconstructed Downtown” was paid for by the Lebanese themselves and who cannot use it anyhow, but to stroll in its street:  no working Lebanese can purchase anything from our high class Downtown shops, rent a small apartment or even park his car.

What about the $10 billion “invested” on the electrical facilities with generators that keep shutting down and fueled by the wrong/corrupted fuel and that keep us in the dark for days forcing us to rely on local generator providers?

What about “top of the line” hospitals waiting for years to be staffed because the rodents have not yet agreed among themselves for the rightful share in the deal?

What about the Lebanese University, facilities and manpower, still not fully operational that has been losing ground to 30 private universities most of them not properly certified to operate?  

What about our fixed telephone lines that most of us cannot afford to connect to ($500 was required and even Not refundable)?  

What about our cellular communication services that is twice as expensive as the costliest in the world?

What about the $5 billion spent on relocating the Lebanese families into their original towns, a sum that could have relocated Taiwan into China, and still they did not care to return?  

What about the billion allocated to the Southern villages after the withdrawal of Israel in the year 2000 and all we can see are the released Lebanese prisoners from the Israeli jails still demonstrating to get any relief?

Yes, Syria was allowed to rebuild the old Lebanese army and secure peace in Lebanon for 15 years; the million thanks are appropriate in this case.  

Yes, the weakling Lebanon was demanding too much and too soon from a crippled regime barely able to reconcile with itself and its future.  

Yes, Syria was all the time afraid from waves of liberty and freedom of expression to cross its insulated population, but it should have tried to experience something that would have done it a great deal of good.

We should banish hatred for the kind and patient Syrian people and learn to shunt chauvinism, an inkling we are prone to do, and our institutions are a million light year away to attack this behavior of ours.  

The Syrian workers have demonstrated that they are the hardest and most diligent workers.  Lebanon was mostly rebuilt by the Syrian workforce (And is still is by the 1.5 million Syrian refugees during Syria forced civil war since 2011).  

A million thanks for our brothers, friends and best allies in Syria.

It is time that our slogans for freedom, self determination and independence become more specific of what these notions means to us before the Syrian troops redeploy behind our borders.  

The Syrians are withdrawing their troops and will complete this task shortly.  The demonstrators should start naming names of these fat rodents, demand their detention, putting them to trial, punished seriously and the money returned to the Lebanese citizens.  (Nothing of that happened and in 2021 Not a single civil war mafia/leader was put on trial)

The demonstrators should use their gatherings to discuss seriously what Lebanon they dream about and what their expectations are.

Note: I do confirm that the mistake of a lifetime of Bashar Assad of Syria was to completely withdraw all his troops from Lebanon after the assassination Rafic Hariri.

If he maintained a small detachment in the Bekaa Valley for a few months, Lebanon would Not have experienced this mass looting of his wealth by the alignment of all the civil war militia leaders. At least, Bashar should have make sure that General Aoun returned from exile and a proportional election law is enacted.

Angry, raging about, mood disorder, Dysthymia…

Posted on April 13, 2012

Dysthymia is a chronic mood disorder characterized by loss of appetite, low-energy level, excessive pent-up anger, social withdrawal, trouble in concentration, tendency to feeling immensely guilty, and obviously daydream suicidal scheming projects…

The enumeration of the characteristics of Dysthymia fails to differentiate among the main factors/ causes and the effects or consequences of the sources of disorder…and you are left to reflect according to your proper common sense mechanism, if you are in the mood for despairing analysis…

For example, dentists have one of the highest prevalence for Dysthymia...

Who do you think are prone to catch on Dysthymia by middle age?

Dentists say what they don’t mean, as most corporate do.  

Dentists really mean: “Don’t let me know if it hurts under any circumstance. Play stoic when I hit a nerve. I am suffering enough of Dysthymia and I don’t care to be exacerbated one more time too often. I have heavily anesthetized your mouth, lips… while you’re here. And When you go home, don’t call me for any reason or for complaining of acute pains, which might last only a couple of days…”

My brother is a dentist, and I can vouch of his “gentle hand and fingers” using the drill…as many of his clients/patients testify.

My brother looks inordinately calm, excessively polite when he doesn’t speak, but when he decides to talk…his conversation is utterly angry and venomous.

My brother is trying hard to keep the peace by not engaging in any conversation…and I don’t know how he managed to survive with all the pent-up, bottled up anger …

I used to thank bus drivers as I stepped down, simply to frustrate the passengers who consider the driver a hidden computer or an invisible mechanical robot…

Occasionally, I would turn to face the angry looks of the passengers…With habit, I just thank without any hinder thought.

I get angry in rainy pouring days when car drivers accelerate to unduly splash and drench this stupid walker. I took the habit of slowly waving my hand up and down, meaning “Do slow down”.

A few slow down and give me a sheepish smile, and accelerate madly: I think the guilt feeling plays the catalyst to their dormant anger…

I tend to stay clear from people exploding in hysteric rage, starting verbally and ending physical.  

It is very safe not to come close in these circumstances: You might become the physical target of the angry person who was feeling totally powerless of communicating, and acting sensibly on an environment refusing to consider that he has any kinds of entitlement…

I stay clear since I am at a physical disadvantage and don’t want to give the aggressor new easy targets to vent out his blinding anger…

I know that in such circumstances, when I get my ultimate in anger, once in a decade, I fail to hear or see properly what I am told or what I am looking at…

You are the wisest if you can sense when a demonstration is turning crazy toward a” mob syndrome”:  You are a stupid pion washed away by the pressing hurricane.

The new generations in developed States have the highest incident of violent rage occurrences, like shooting spree in schools, in supermarket, blowing buildings…

The violent acts are mostly done by person of well-to-do classes because their “rights for entitlements” are baffled and the “system or procedures” were devised so that No civil servant can claim that he is responsible for his decisions…

The procedures, which civil servants, security personnel, soldiers, judges, professors…are bound to follow, are designed Not to leave much rooms for interpretations or to navigate amid sensible judgement, or to pinpoint a definable public figure to target and question:  They are all, like corporations, just “moral entities“.

Moral entity are defined as Nobody own, nobody is responsible directly for any decision, and citizens feel they have got no authority figure to directly express their minor frustrations.

Citizens feel powerless and helpless and they express their anger in the ample of bad behavior, randomly it seems…

Feeling angry is culminating with the sense of not locating the obvious or legal nemesis in corporations and in government services: A machine answering your requests is programmed to upset you even further.  

We are told that we have choices:  Have you tried lately the various 32 ice-cream flavors?

Not a chance!

Note: I am glad that this insurrection of the US Capitol might have provided a level of “common sense” of how people feeling entitled act when cornered and baffled.

Guess what my job is: Human Factors in Engineering?

Posted on June 25, 2009 (Written in November 13, 2005)

“Guess what my job is”

It would be interesting to have a talk with the freshly enrolled engineering students from all fields as to the objectives and meaning of designing products, projects and services.

This talk should be intended to orient engineers for a procedure that might provide their design projects the necessary substance for becoming marketable and effective in reducing the pitfalls in having to redesign for failing to consider the health and safety of what they produced and conceived.

This design behavior should start right at the freshman level while taking formal courses so that prospective engineers will naturally apply this acquired behavior in their engineering career.

In the talk, the students will have to guess what the Human Factors discipline is from the case studies, exercises and problems that will be discussed.

The engineers will try to answer a few of the questions that might be implicit, but never formally explicitly explained or learned in engineering curriculums, because the necessary courses are generally offered outside their traditional discipline field.

A sample of the questions might be as follows:

1. What is the primary job of an engineer?

2. What does design means?  How do you perceive designing to look like?

3. To whom are you designing?  What category of people?

4. Who are your target users? Engineer, consumers, support personnel, operators?

5. What are your primary criteria in designing?  Error free application product?

6. Who commit errors?  Can a machine do errors?

7. How can we categorize errors?  Any exposure to an error taxonomy?

8. Can you foresee errors, near accidents, accidents?  Take a range oven for example, expose the foreseeable errors and accidents in the design and specifically the display and control idiosyncrasy.

9. Who is at fault when an error is committed or an accident occurs?

10. Can we practically account for errors without specific task taxonomy?

11. Do you view yourself as responsible for designing interfaces to your design projects depending on the target users?

12. Would you relinquish your responsibilities for being in the team assigned to design an interface for your design project?

13. What kinds of interfaces are needed for your design to be used efficiently?

14. How engineers solve problems?  Searching for the applicable formulas? Can you figure out the magnitude of the answer?  Have you memorized the allowable range for your answers from the given data and restriction imposed in the problem after solving so many exercises?

15. What are the factors or independent variables that may affect your design project?

16. How can we account for the interactions among the factors?

17. Have you memorize the dimensions of your design problem?

18. Have you been exposed to reading research papers? Can you understand, analyze and interpret the research paper data? Can you have an opinion as to the validity of an experiment?

19. Would you accept the results of any peer-reviewed article as facts that may be readily applied to your design projects? Can you figure out if the paper is Not biased or extending confounding results?

20. Do you expect to be in charge of designing any new product or program or procedures in your career?

21. Do you view most of your job career as a series of supporting responsibilities; like just applying already designed programs and procedures?

22. Are you ready to take elective courses in psychology, sociology, marketing, and business targeted to learn how to design experiments and know more about the capabilities, limitations and behavioral trends of target users?

23. Are you planning to go for graduate studies?  Do you know what elective courses might suit you better in your career?

Bi-weekly report (4) on Lebanon

Posted on December 12, 2008

Mind you that this article was posted in 2008. Boy, I am so glad that I used to write my diaries since 2005.

A niece of mine emailed me what Natalia Antelava from BBC News in Beirut published on the repercussions of the US financial crisis on Lebanon.  

Antelava summarized the effects “The world maybe in meltdown but Beirut is booming. The country best known for wars, turmoil and instability has not just survived the global financial crisis; it seems to be thriving because of it.

She goes on:

Lebanon’s Central bank treasury vaults are full. Cash has been flowing in like never before, Lebanese banks are posting record deposits and bankers say this is the best year in Lebanon’s financial history.

Lebanon was prepared. “I saw the crisis coming and I told the commercial banks in 2007 to get out of all international investments related to the international markets”, says Riad Salameh, the governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank.

Lebanese Banks weren’t allowed to take on too much debt and they had to have at least 30% of their assets in cash. They were not allowed to speculate in risky packages of bundled up debts.

And weak banks were forced to merge with bigger ones before they got into trouble. “

“You could have thought they had a crystal ball. It was very wise of the Lebanese regulators not to get involved in all these risky international investments that turned out to be the doom of many banking systems,” says Edward Gardner of the International Monetary Fund.

“The system we created has been tested against wars, against instability, against political assassinations. And our sector would be much more developed if Lebanon did not have political and security risks, but it has also induced us to have a conservative reflex because we were always getting ready for the worst case scenario,” says Mr Salameh.

But the tight reign on borrowing does not apply to the government.  (A condition that brought the state of Lebanon to total bankruptcy in 2020)

Over the years, Lebanon has taken on loan after loan for post war reconstruction. Today, per capita, Lebanon owes more than any other country in the world.  

On paper this makes it vulnerable, but the political realities of the Middle East mean that danger is unlikely ever to materialize.

  

“This level of public debt has created serious problems for other countries, but the difference is that there is a perception that Lebanon has friends with very deep pockets who will not let it go down financially,” says Edward Gardner of the IMF.

“This was demonstrated in 2006 war with Israel, when both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were very quick to deposit large sums of money into the Central Bank to help it to remain stable,” Mr Gardner added.

But Lebanon could still feel the aftershocks of the credit crunch.  

Every year, thousands of highly educated young people from Lebanon go to work abroad.

With some 12 million Lebanese overseas and only 3.5 million in the country, remittances make up a vital third of the economy. (Currently, there are over 16 millions overseas and above 6 millions in the country and more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees)

The rest of the world is now being forced to sober up after the wild excesses of the global markets, but in Lebanon the party’s on.

The Lebanese are a nation of survivors, who have paid a heavy price for the fortunes they are reaping now. (What fortune? Lebanon is Not generating wealth and has no raw materials to export and import most of everything…)

Through their troubles they have learned how to party as if tomorrow will never come, but also, against the odds, how to bank for their future. 

My niece might have felt a displaced pride of that content of the article and I had to reply to her.

I said: “I heard all that since the crisis.  It means only the banks are stable because it mainly loans to the bankrupt Lebanese government at high interest loans. Why our banks would care to speculate any further? (Lebanon has so far borrowed over $65 billions, (that in 2008) or at least four times its NGP, since 1994; a ratio that is still less than the US indebtedness). 

The Dawha (Qatar) political agreement among the Lebanese civil war militia sectarian caste leaders was forced by the rich Arab States, which helped Lebanon’s reconstruction after the July war of 2006, to safeguard their investments.  

I doubt that the people/pseudo citizens have experienced any results:

The prices are their highest when all over the world prices have dropped sharply.  We used to have Aspicot (aspirin for children) manufactured in Lebanon; for two months we have no Aspicot; everything is exported to the Arab States.  

The wholesalers import at low prices and sell at prices before the crisis because no prices have ever declined in Lebanon once they increase on rumors only.

I am not fooled and no Lebanese citizen is fooled.  What fortune are the little people reaping?

On the political front, Deputy and General Michel Aoun ended five days of an official trip to Syria.  

The Syrian people welcomed him enthusiastically and he was considered as the civilian Patriarch, not only of the Maronites but also of all the Christians in the Middle East.  

The two people have finally repaired the psychological barriers, (Funny. this term is also used by the western media to describe our enmities with the colonial apartheid implant of Israel) that divided them after 15 years of Syrian mandate in Lebanon.

Most of the inconsequential sectarian leaders in Lebanon felt very small after this courageous openness of Aoun and kept lambasting him even before his visit (they are the mouthpieces of Saudi Arabia).  

The truth is that the March 14 “alliance” does not dare criticize President Michel Suleiman and thus they target Aoun instead.

Former US President Carter is in Lebanon in order to ask for permission to monitor the coming election; he has met with most political party leaders.  Hezbollah did not accord him a private meeting.

President Suleiman is visiting Jordan.  The mouth pieces of Syria have been attacking the Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and claiming that he is getting into one of his lunatic phases and he is no longer a viable entity as a leader of the Druze. (Nothing changed of this description even in 2021)

Tidbits #89

I conjecture that all the facts, observations, experiments., philosophy… will Not tell us anything “sustainable” of what is life and the universe. We need to know: How the majority, in any ethnic group, likes to conceive the nature of Life and the Universe? This knowledge is fundamental to evaluate the evolution of human “Emotional Intelligence

US usually does threaten The rest of the world for “peaceful transfer of power“. The rest of the world Leaders and officials expressed shock and disappointment as the US Capitol was invaded and congressmen locked up in their chambers.

Everything radiates: Trees and even stones, rocks, and our body radiates. Basement of homes radiates noxious chemical gases. The skin, our first defensive line against nocife radiations, will eventually degrade. And we gets older and the radiations will reach our organs and kill their cells and disturb their functioning.

As oceans will invade large swath of lands in the coming decades, generally urban regions, temperature in cities will also increase twice that of rural regions. A double calamity.

Identical twins don’t have identical genes. New research found an average of 5.2 genetic mutations per set.

Is there any actual difference between the Moderna and Pfizer versions? I know they are built on the same principle, but what about efficacy, side effects, etc.? None. Both of which are based on a novel application of mRNA. The question remains: which of the varieties of vaccines needs “normal” low cold environment to suit countries that lacks very cold facilities to transfer the vaccine?

I love Voltaire: his sarcasm transcend centuries and ages. I believe sarcasm is a potent means to provide behaviorals alternatives to customs and tradition.

Le plus habile des trésoriers n’a rien avoir avec le plus integre.

Les services rendus restent dans l’antichambre. Les soupçons entrent dans le cabinet des ministres.

La joie d’une personne heureuse serait une insulte. Mais deux malheureux ensemble sont deux arbrisseaux faibles qui s’appuient pour se fortifier contre l’orage.

Le roi de Serendib savait qu’on le pillait: Il n’avait pu changer le mode établie de partager les revenus. La petite moitié “inégale” revenait a lui/le peuple. Rien ne faisait de changer le tresorier: l’administration ne changait guere.

A lady professor of piano accompanied home one of her little young girl. She counselled her at the door: “Don’t forget to press harder your 4th finger“. I know the 4th is a weak finger, and that is why women opt for the third one.

Stand By Me: Nepal

Posted on May 15, 2015

Claire and I came to Nepal on vacation.

Actually, April 25th was the start of her two-month sabbatical!

We certainly didn’t have the experience we expected, but we’re both grateful that we had this time here, and that we were able to contribute in some small way.

Claire Davidson and I will be leaving Nepal tomorrow after three weeks here that we will never forget. Talk about bittersweet.

We arrived on the afternoon of April 24th.

The next day, as we were exploring the ancient capital of Bakhtapur with Ajay Uprety, the earthquake hit.

We were almost crushed by a falling building, and spent the rest of that day sprinting through Bakhtapur’s narrow streets, running from square to square through the destroyed 800-year-old city, to escape the recurring terror of the aftershocks.

We walked for several hours and eventually made our way back to our hotel, which had partially collapsed, and set up camp.

We immediately started mobilizing International Medical Corps‘ response with the help of a handful of strangers-come-friends who shared our campsite and who wanted to help.

Over the days that followed, more staff and volunteers arrived, and our response scaled up.

We chartered helicopters to reach the most remote villages, and we worked to bring safe water and sanitation facilities to displaced persons living in camps in Kathmandu and in destroyed villages around the epicentre.

Our team and our reach grew before our eyes as the global community generously contributed to our efforts.

On May 12th, we experienced yet another earthquake.

I was in Gorkha District with Ivy Caballes Registered NurseRemi DrozdLara Phillips and our team running a mobile medical unit when the building we were in partially collapsed and the hills around us started sliding away.

We flew back to Kathmandu with Tara Yip-Bannicq and linked up with Claire and other colleagues to immediately start assessments – going first to Bakhtapur, where Claire, Ajay and I were the day of the first earthquake.

We worked late into that evening, setting up a field post-op unit close to one of the hospitals we are supporting in Kathmandu.

We’re leaving Nepal with heavy hearts, as there is still an enormous amount of work to be done.

But we’re leaving our work in good hands, and we will continue to stand by Nepal from afar. We look forward to coming back under better circumstances, and to once again experiencing the beauty and kindness of this country.

See More

Tracy Chapman: “Stand By Me” – David Letterman Tracy performs the classic Ben E. King song.

Let’s experiment

Posted on November 26, 2010

Whether we admit it or not, every person has constructed a mental model of how he views the universe and life.  

For example, was the universe created, is it infinite, is it timeless… 

And what is life, the purpose of life, what happens after death, is there a soul, what happens to the soul, is the soul individual or a collective soul…?

Since antiquity, philosophers have been discussing and reasoning on the following matter:  

“Do mankind enjoys an innate general spirit (regardless of ethnicity, culture, gender…) that expresses how he views the construct of the universe, or it is an individual learning process relevant to the manner the various sensory organs observe nature and people and organize the information”?

The hypothesis is

Do people with sensory handicaps (blind, deaf…) extend the same kind of subjective understanding of the universe and life as “normal” people do, across all ethnic cultures with oral and written myths and traditions?

First, we need baseline stories on “What do I know about the universe and life?” from “normal” people with “normally” functioning sensory organs (vision, audition…). 

The baseline stories should be captured from varieties of ethnic cultural entities in the five continents, privileging the oral cultures with No recognized written documents, and minority cultures with written cultures but Not read or disseminated universally. 

The baseline stories must discriminate between genders (between group factors) and the ethnic stories within each gender groups.

The baseline stories must discriminate among the stage of maturity of the storyteller (young, adult, middle age, and older people). 

The baseline stories must discriminate among the literacy levels of the subjects (such as they read and write in one language, read only, and only orally literate subjects).  Thus, the team of experimenters must be trained to adequately record answers and stories in uniform fashion.

The next phase of the experiment is gathering stories of sensory handicapped people in the above ethnic and gender groups (blind, deaf…)

We may extend this experiment by artificially handicapping a normal subject by preventing him to see or to hear while resuming his “normal” live for a period.  Do you think that his mental model of the universe might be altered significantly?

Another extension may be involving normal sensory subjects but with different mental capabilities and limitations (over developed or under developed brain powers).  

This experiment would answer the question: “Are reading and listening to stories generate different types of observational data due to further brain processing mechanisms?”

The most essential preparation for the experiment is the designing of an exhaustive questionnaire with exhaustive options to educate the subjects on the varieties of viewpoints and myths. 

For that purpose, the questionnaire will be tested on many preliminary samples of ethnic cultures in order to catch and collect the varieties of relevant options, sort of exhaustive compendium on the different myths and mental models. 

I would recommend that the design requires every question to be answered. This means that those logical procedures of demanding the subject to skip several questions, as in filling tax forms, be eliminated:  We should not fall in the bias of enforcing our rational logic on oral culture ethnic groups and the illiterates.

It is advisable that follow-up oral stories accompany answering the questionnaire. Then, another follow-up written story be attached to the oral story. 

The written story would condense the individual story into a comprehensive and coherent story after the preceding two educational sessions. 

The teams of trained experimenters would have to fill the initial questionnaire with the new information generated by the oral and written stories; missing information can be filled by default, using the original questionnaire for each subject. 

Thus, data analysis can be conducted on the two questionnaires: the before learning process and the after learning process of the mental models.

I find it interesting that, after the written story, the subject would give his opinion on the current theories of astrophysicists on the universe in order to check the cohesion and compatibility of the subjects in their perception of the universe. 

For example: what they think of the theory that this universe is the product of a collision between two universes; that a universe revolves around each black hole; that what we see is a simulated universe of a matrix universe; that the sky is a wall on which the image of the stars and galaxies are projected onto it (a universe as hologram); that the universe keeps changing every time we observe it… 

Do you think that you might change your view if a theory (coming from an astrophysicist) impresses you?

The spontaneous suggestion is “why not ask a subject to tell his story before answering a questionnaire? At least we can have an original version, unbiased by constructed questionnaires.”  

This suggestion is pertinent if it is feasible to nudge a subject to start telling a story without a prompt sheet containing the necessary lines of thoughts to guide the subject in the endeavor: The prompt sheet must be devoid of any biased suggestions.  

In any case, I believe that devising such a prompt sheet is necessary, even if not applied in the experiment, in order to get the questionnaire developed and cleaned of idiosyncratic allusions and local imageries.

The experiment is complex and will need to be subdivided in meaningful stages of shorter experiments.

It is time intensive and for a long duration.

It requires training of large teams of researchers and experimenters.  Preliminary experiments would show the best ways of experimenting piece meal this vast project.

Note 1:  I tend to include materials we read and stories we heard as sensory inputs since they are processed by the brain, at various levels, as sensory observations.

Note 2: Many scholars present the view that what we actually sense are in fact “processed observations”, and not the raw sensed data, since all sensing observations are data processed by the brain at different levels of manipulations.

Good enough: We are dealing with what mankind is observing: That is what is available to forming a coherent structure of the universe and the environment we live into. 

The follow-up lesson is:  Other reasoning species must be viewing the universe differently since their senses have different capacities and limitations, and their brain structures are different from mankind.

Note 3:  The essential question that the previous experiment might offer an answer to is:  “If an individual is handicapped in one or more sensory organs then, by reading or listening to stories, can his brain re-establish what normal people comprehend of the universe?”

Note 4: I conjecture that all the facts, observations, experiments., philosophy… will Not tell us anything “sustainable” of what is life and the universe. What this experiment could boils down to is to “know”:

How the majority, in any ethnic group, likes to conceive the nature of Life and the Universe?

This is fundamental to to evaluate the evolution of human “Emotional Intelligence

Tidbits #86

Soon, the “pseudo-citizens” Lebanese will be considered as ripe by the UN to apply as “refugees” in their own country. We will be eligible/entitled to apply to many Nations for “residency status” and be invited for countless interviews. A year later, we will be assigned and shipped to one of the Nations that respect human rights and value dignity for every person.

It would be fairer for the UN to transfer the malignant sectarian/feudal/civil war mafia “leaders” and let us have a second more equitable try to establish a secular State, to all.

Frankly, I feel we are too rotten, to the bones, to manage such a feat of instituting a secular State: if we have failed during a century, then we are Not fit to be extended one of those “second chances” or hundred of times.

In the meantime (entretemps), the Lebanese, who want full citizenship, have to continue doing their due diligence to kick out the nefarious for life “leaders’, in order to earn a “spot under the sun”

Israel: Land of God El, the all incompassic Canaan God. Shekel: the currency that Babylon Empire used. Shalom: Aramaic salutation that means “Peace be upon you”. Hebrews: Al 3obraniyeen (those who crossed): the bedouin tribes which crossed the desert to settle in the desertic region in south Palestine Al Nakab… The language Hebrew is a slang of the Aramaic language. Jehova (Yahwa) was the warrior God of the tribes. The Canaanites in Jerusalem allowed them to build a tiny temple whenever they needed these tribes to be paid as mercenaries. In peaceful time, this temple was neglected and the tribes patronized Canaan temples. We can go on and on…

Life swims in a river of bacterias, more of the good ones than bad bacterias. Death floats on this stagnant river, as good bacterias stop feeding it.

Youth generates good bacteria. Older ages requires constant Infusion of good bacterias. Take care that your vital organs are functional and healthy.

Evil emotions never dies or sleeps: it is a cause in everyday occurrences. Goodness is a rare event and craves long periods of hibernations: it needs strong catalysts to wake up. When Goodness resurrects from its lethargy, it lights up the nights, like those flies that live for a day, just for a night, and retreats to its cave.

The total bankruptcy of the state of Lebanon, and at all levels, goes deeper than its totally rotten political and economic system. A century ago, the Lebanese were hard working, a value-added population, like the current Syrians and Palestinians. It is No longer the case.

The colonial occupation of Syria and Palestine was for the keep because of the value-added hard working people, like the Indians during the British colonialism of India. Lebanon is currently a sink tank, Not worth a dime for investment, if the Syrian refugees return to Syria.

London lost almost all its European share business. On the first day of trading after Brexit was finally completed, $7.4 billion moved out of the City and into Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Paris.

With a worthless bolivar, president Nicolás Maduro says paper money will eventually disappear. Venezuela is actively envisioning an all-digital economy. China can help with its digital technology. State of Lebanon, totally bankrupt, should be ripe for this alternative

Testimonials: 30 years after 13 years of civil war

The issue of April 9, 2005 of daily Al Balad. Posted on Oct. 22, 2008 

In context: Late Rafic Hariri PM was assassinated on February 2004 and Lebanon suffered along period of disturbances. Although it was clear the colonial powers, Israel and Saudi Kingdom were behind this assassination, an International court was set up to cover up the real perpetrators.

Four of the Head of security institutions were locked up in prison with no evidence. Fouad Siniora was appointed PM and he stayed in “power”, even if half the ministers (less one) had resigned.

All the loans received from the Gulf States were Not registered in the ministry of finance and $11 billions were diverted into the pockets of the militia leaders and their secret Fund Boxes.

All the sit-ins for about 5 months, and sleeping in tents and surrounding the government Serai, would Not dislodge Seniora, since he was backed by the US and the colonial powers. President Emile Lahoud was ignored in all government decisions to the end of his extended tenure of 3 more years.

A grave incident in 2008 changed the donne: Seniora and the Druze Walid Jumblatt initiated a decree that angered Hezbollah, on account of dismantling their secured land communication lines.

Hezbollah reacted and closed all the Israeli bunks and the security branches in Beirut and checked militarily Jumblatt. Qatar had to invite all these sectarian/mafia leaders to resolve a political consensus. The army chief Michel Suleiman was agreed on to become President.

And 6 years of more looting of the budgets and highway robberies got underway, a period that aggravated the economic and financial conditions that led to the State total bankruptcy at all levels.

“Thirty years after the civil war, the youth of Lebanon are gathered under the Freedom tents in the Martyrs’ Square.  Supporters of many Lebanese political parties are discussing and getting to know one another. 

Catch phrases like “our speaker did not represent our real position” or “did you really like his speech?” are common. 

On one of the tents a placard states “Just a Lebanese citizen”. 

In the middle of a discussion George asks Dima of her name and political affiliation.  Dima explains to George the principles of the “Left Democratic Movement”, a splinter of the Communist Party and other leftist factions. “What! Are you really a leftist? You don’t look like a leftist”. says George.

George tells Dima a common joke during the war which says “Immune your children against leftist ideology”.

George resumes asking Dima questions on her education and the ideology of her movement.

He is very impressed of her graduate studies and the social reform programs of the movement and then asks her: “So, why are you here?”

Dima explains that the members of this movement combine political positions with on the ground actions and application.

“You guys are cool. Who is your leader?” asks George. 

We have no leader. We organize ourselves in committees and vote on everything.  We make sure that guys and girls are equally represented in the elected committees.” replies Dima.  George invites Dima to take a cup of coffee in his tent.

A discussion is going on in the Left Democratic Movement and someone says: “I wish Samir Geaja is released from prison and General Aoun returns from exile so that our commemoration in April 13 is complete and representative of the unity of Lebanon”.

Another guy liked the name of the movement and stated that his faction will consider changing the name to “Right Democratic Movement”

Note: Many secular and historic parties have joined the sit-ins, and even Hezbollah joined in.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

January 2021
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Blog Stats

  • 1,459,319 hits

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

Join 800 other followers

%d bloggers like this: