Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘education methods/programs’ Category

Alphabet Chart? From petroglyphs, hieroglyphs, Haykazian, Mesropian and Phoenician alphabets?

Comparative Alphabet Chart, all based on Armenian petroglyphs and hieroglyphs from 12,000 to 2000 BCE, including Haykazian (Hyksos) script influencing Egyptian hieroglyphs and Phoenician alphabets, etc. Also reviving Mesropian script which influenced Georgian and Albanian alphabets.
– Copyright Picture Melkon Armen Khandjian 2007.

Note 1: I commented: How do you want me to decipher this chart? from right to left? So all that kids used to draw became an alphabet? kel kharbashaat al wlaad saarat alphabet ba3d oulouf al sinnen?
Note 2: Since then, all the alphabets adopted the Phoenician order of characters and most of their consonants: Russian, Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew…
No automatic alt text available.

Economics students call for shakeup of the way their subject is taught

Students from 19 countries argue economics courses failing wider society by ignoring need to address 21st-century issues
,economics correspondent at The Guardian published this May 4, 2014

Economics students from 19 countries have joined forces to call for an overhaul of the way their subject is taught, saying the dominance of narrow free-market theories at top universities harms the world’s ability to confront challenges such as financial stability and climate change.

In the first global protest against mainstream economic teaching, the International Student Initiative for Pluralist Economics (ISIPE) argues in a letter to the Guardian that economics courses are failing wider society when they ignore evidence from other disciplines.

The students, who have formed 41 protest groups in universities from Britain and the US to Brazil and Russia, say research and teaching in economics departments is too narrowly focused and more effort should be made to broaden the curriculum.

They want courses to include analysis of the financial crash that so many economists failed to see coming, and say the discipline has become divorced from the real world.

“The lack of intellectual diversity does not only restrain education and research. It limits our ability to contend with the multidimensional challenges of the 21st century – from financial stability to food security and climate change,” they say in their manifesto.

“The real world should be brought back into the classroom, as well as debate and a pluralism of theories and methods. This will help renew the discipline and ultimately create a space in which solutions to society’s problems can be generated.”

The move follows a series of protests in the UK led by students in Manchester, Cambridge and London against academics who have been accused of acting as cheerleaders for the market-financial models that helped push the global financial system into the crisis.

Economics undergraduates at the University of Manchester, who formed the Post-Crash Economics Society, recently issued their own manifesto for reform with the endorsement of the Bank of England’s incoming chief economist, Andy Haldane.

Haldane, who is currently director of financial stability, said economists had forgotten the links between their subject and other social science disciplines, which can give a broader and more accurate picture of how an economy works.

He said: “The crisis has laid bare the latent inadequacies of economic models. These models have failed to make sense of the sorts of extreme macro-economic events, such as crises, recessions and depressions, which matter most to society.” (Actually, economists are Not doing any investigative work, such as in Freakanomics micro-economics behavior of people)

In the decade before the 2008 crash, many economists dismissed warnings that property and stock markets were overvalued. US central bank boss Alan Greenspan was a leading figure who argued that markets were correctly pricing shares, property and exotic derivatives in line with economic models of behaviour. It was only when the US sub-prime mortgage market unravelled that regulators, policymakers and banks realised a collective failure to spot the bubble had wrecked their economies.

In his bestselling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the economist Thomas Piketty attacks mainstream economic teaching, accusing academics of believing mathematical models without looking at growing evidence that undermines the conclusions.

Piketty’s look back over the last 200 years of economic development in search of lessons for the next 100 years is currently the best selling book on Amazon in the US.

He says academics have ignored evidence of growing inequality and its influence on GDP growth since the 1970s.

“For too long economists have neglected the distribution of wealth, partly because of the profession’s undue enthusiasm for simplistic mathematical models based on so-called representative agents,” he says.

The student manifesto calls on university economics departments to hire lecturers with a broader outlook and introduce a wider selection of texts. It also asks that lecturers endorse collaborations between social sciences and humanities departments or “establish special departments that could oversee interdisciplinary programmes blending economics and other fields”.

The manifesto says: “Change will be difficult – it always is. But it is already happening.

Students across the world have already started creating change step by step. We have founded university groups and built networks both nationally and internationally.

Change must come from many places. So now we invite you – students, economists, and non-economists – to join us and create the critical mass needed for change.”

Only 12 words to define Entrepreneurship?

BILL MURPHY JR updated on April 24, 2014

There’s a definition of entrepreneurship that has changed how I think about the way people choose their paths in life. It helped me to build a thriving business and find all kinds of great new experiences. Heck, it even helped me to meet my wife.

I believe it can have the same kind of positive impact for you, if you’re willing to try to put it into practice:

Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.

That’s the 12-word definition of entrepreneurship that they teach at Harvard Business School.

I first read it while researching my 2010 book, The Intelligent Entrepreneur

I remember staring at it on the page and feeling like a boy noticing girls for the first time: There’s something really interesting here, but I know there’s a lot more to it than I currently understand.

I’d like to break the definition down for you, because it not only gives insight into why people like you are so drawn to the idea of starting and building something, it will also improve the likelihood that you’ll be successful.

(As a quick aside, seeing that definition in another of my books is what originally led me to meet Inc.’s editor-in-chief, Eric Schurenberg. A column he wrote about it became the most-read article in the history of at that time.)

1. “Entrepreneurship…”

Let’s start with the word itself: Entrepreneurship. A noun with few true synonyms. (that lack of real synonyms can be a real pain in the neck.) It’s not simply a matter of being a boss or a leader or owning a business. In fact, there’s nothing intrinsic at all in this definition about business, or risk, or even making money. It’s something different–a way of looking at the world.

2. “…is the pursuit of opportunity…”

There are two key words here: pursuit and opportunity.

“Pursuit” means there has to be action involved (hence, my reader-inspired decision this year to change the name of my column to Action Required). You have to have impact; you have to try to change something. Simply thinking about an idea doesn’t cut it, and neither does coasting along doing what you’ve always done.

Similarly, a true entrepreneur is always pursuing “opportunity.” That means something new, bigger, nicer, better, smarter, more useful.

it often also means pursuing the most amazing, appealing, enticing opportunities you can find.

Here’s where we really start to differentiate true entrepreneurs from everyone else.

There are a lot of good people out there running very nice businesses. However, if they’re not chasing new opportunities–if they’re coasting along, doing what they’ve always done–then maybe they’ve given up the mantle of true entrepreneurship.

3. “…without regard to resources currently controlled.”

This might just be my favorite phrase in the world. I suppose if Harvard Business School had wanted to make the definition more accessible, they could have said “regardless of” instead of “without regard to,” but no matter.

“Without regard to resources currently controlled” means it doesn’t matter how little you have at the start. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have money, or that you don’t have all the required skills, or that you don’t have a team to help you.

At the very beginning especially, reach for the stars. Don’t let the opportunities you pursue be limited by the assets you currently have. Instead, let the attractiveness of the opportunity serve as your guide.

There are so many implications of this part of the definition.

For one thing, while capital is a necessary ingredient, the truth is that all of those would-be entrepreneurs out there who blame a lack of money for their inability to get started are playing the wrong game.

there’s an advantage to not having money at the start, because that scarcity forces you to be more resourceful. It means you have to sell your ideas to others–a possibly painful exercise, but one that pays huge dividends in the long run.

Here’s the bottom line: For just about any decision you have to make in life, there are two ways to make choices.

Most people choose the first method of decision making. They look at the array of options that seem reasonably attainable, and then pick the best one. They choose a career because it’s what their parents advised, or because there are jobs available. They live somewhere because it’s what they’re familiar with. They surround themselves with the kinds of people they’ve always known.

The true entrepreneur, however, sees things differently.

Instead of choosing the best available option, he or she thinks big, and tries to identify the best possible solution, regardless of whether it seems completely implausible and unattainable. Then, he or she gets to work, trying to make that impossible dream a reality.

If you choose the first path, you might save yourself a lot of heartache, and a lot of ups and downs on the roller coaster of life. However, you also run a greater risk of achieving your goals only to find you didn’t push yourself enough. Which path will you choose?

BILL MURPHY JR. is a journalist, ghostwriter, and entrepreneur. He is the author ofBreakthrough Entrepreneurship (with Jon Burgstone) and is a former reporter for The Washington Post. @BillMurphyJr


  • Judy Woodruff:

    In South Africa in recent weeks, protests have once again erupted on campuses across the country.

    The demonstrations, known as Fees Must Fall, aimed at reducing tuition costs, stem from the painful history of apartheid.

    And just as in the disputes here over Confederate monuments, the symbols of South Africa’s past are being fought over today.

    Jeffrey Brown was recently in South Africa for his ongoing series Culture at Risk.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    High above Cape Town at the Southern Tip of Africa, a stately memorial to Cecil John Rhodes, the British-born 19th century diamond magnate and colonial conqueror.

    But notice the bust of Rhodes. His nose has been hacked off.

    It was on the nearby campus of the prestigious University of Cape Town, with a historically white majority student body, that protests over another prominent statue of Rhodes set off a national debate in South Africa two years ago, when student activists started what became known as the Rhodes Must Fall movement.

  • Chumani Maxwele:

    The Rhodes monument is a practical symbol of the oppression of black people. At the end of the day, we are saying, we are not happy to just be at the university, while our sisters and brothers are still in squatter camps.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    Chumani Maxwele, one of the protest leaders, recently accompanied us to an informal settlement in the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha, just a short drive from campus.

    He pointed to the disparities that make South Africa one of the world’s most unequal societies.

  • Chumani Maxwele:

    You won’t see white kids like this, sitting like this. You won’t see that.

    We’re coming from here in the townships. And then we are claiming that we are educated. We must be able to take theory and practice and put it together and see what change we can make.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    The Rhodes statue on campus was eventually removed by the university, but students continue to press on issues of school’s costs and curriculum.

    Alex Gotz was one of 12 students punished by the administration as the protests expanded.

  • Alex Gotz:

    I don’t think we need statues to remind ourselves of what they represent. You can have it in a museum, if need be, but I think there are enough visible effects of apartheid and colonialism to last us a lifetime.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    The head of the university, Max Price, acknowledges more needs to be done to address the remnants of apartheid.

  • Max Price:

    It’s still the case that a black student might say to me: I have never been taught by a black professor at UCT, 22 years after democracy.

    And that’s not something we’re proud of. That’s something we are trying to change.

    Instead of thinking this is an alien place on the hill that reflects empire, start feeling that this is their university, a university that they want to come to, they want to send their children to, and that they’re proud of.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    In South Africa today, visual imagery teaches, as at the entrance to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, where visitors are confronted with the history of racial divisions.

    It honors, as in a memorial in Soweto, to Hector Pieterson, a 13-year-old killed by police in the 1976 uprising against apartheid. And it’s also contentious.

  • Alana Bailey:

    There is a lot of polarization between race groups in South Africa.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    Alana Bailey manages heritage issues at AfriForum, a civil rights group working on behalf of Afrikaners, the white descendants of predominantly Dutch settlers who arrived here in the 17th century, and who in the 20th century established the apartheid regime that only ended in 1994.

    Bailey now works to protect monuments.

  • Alana Bailey:

    There’s a bit of a dangerous situation that you can create by removing statues, because if you say that anything that memorializes a past contribution by a community is not welcome in the public sphere, then you might also be saying that people who represent that community are not welcome in the public sphere.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    In the capital, still widely known as Pretoria, many street names have been changed from the white colonial and apartheid era figures to liberation struggle leaders, mostly black.

    The larger municipality itself is now officially called Tshwane, after an 18th century indigenous chief. And still the most prominent face of the new South Africa, a huge statue of Nelson Mandela stands in front of the official seat of the national government. The statue that previously stood here, of an Afrikaner nationalist leader, was moved to a far corner of the gardens.

    In Church Square in the center of the city, another contentious site is getting a makeover — the monument to 19th century Afrikaner leader Paul Kruger is now surrounded by fencing after being vandalized several times.

    Mayor Solly Msimanga plans to keep the statue, but transform the whole square into a new kind of monument that’s dedicated to free speech.

  • Mayor Solly Msimanga, Tshwane:

    We are advocating that you tell a complete history, not only one side of our history.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    So you are against taking down the old statues?

  • Mayor Solly Msimanga:

    I am against taking down any kind of statue. I’m all for having all statues and using them to tell a part of history. I am not here because a certain part of history didn’t exist.

    I’m here because that history happened. I am sitting in this chair right now because a certain history happened, and I am acknowledging that.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    Outside the city, a different kind of accommodation of histories. The huge Voortrekker Monument is dedicated to Afrikaner pioneers who migrated inland in the 19th century, chafing at then-British colonial rule.

    It opened in 1949, just a year after the official onset of apartheid.

    Nearby stands the much newer Freedom Park, a monument erected in the democratic era and dedicated to South Africans of all backgrounds killed in wars, as well as in the liberation struggle against apartheid.

    Last year, directors Cecilia Kruger and Jane Mufamadi strengthened ties between their two adjacent monuments.

  • Jane Mufamadi:

    As in our democracy, we had to compromise. We had to make compromises.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    A lot of people just wonder what a monument is, right, and what’s it for.

  • Jane Mufamadi:

    It’s about the message that you’re sending to the nation through a particular monument. It’s about the lessons that we need to learn and draw from our past, so that we chart a better future and leave a better legacy for our children.

  • Cecilia Kruger:

    All heritage is part of somebody’s identity, somewhere. The minute you understand the monuments and what it symbolizes, you begin to understand each other’s identity.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    A fine hope, but how much difference can a monument make? Those frustrated by a lack of change after the end of apartheid say, not much, when black people are the majority, but mainly remain in segregated poverty.

    Johannesburg-based architecture critic Mpho Matsipa.

  • Mpho Matsipa:

    Reconciliation without justice can only get you so far, and by that, at a very simple level, economic justice or spatial justice.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    So, that’s much bigger than any one monument. You mean like the entire city.

  • Mpho Matsipa:

    The landscape. The landscape of a city like Johannesburg remains, in my mind, a monument to apartheid spatial planning and apartheid spatial thinking.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    Just the way it’s laid out, where people live?

  • Mpho Matsipa:

    The way it’s laid out, the way people live, the way that inequality is spatialized and continues to be spatialized in the city serves as a monument to that history.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    In the meantime, student protests have picked up again in recent days, with the Fees Must Fall movement claiming that high tuition puts college attendance beyond the means of many.

    Student activist Chumani Maxwele:

  • Chumani Maxwele:

    If you are giving us free education, we will be able to have cousins, sisters, brothers across and be able to work together because we have got skill. You are educated. You can be employed. That’s the whole essence of the fight.

  • Jeffrey Brown:

    Today, the empty plinth of Cecil Rhodes on the University of Cape Town campus serves as another kind of monument, as a struggle in this young democracy goes on.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Jeffrey Brown in South Africa.

Processing negative reviews

Assumption: Some people love what you do. They love your product, your service, the way you do your work (if that’s not true, this post isn’t for you. You have a more significant problem to work on first). (And they love and strongly hate my humors and good nature?)

So, how to understand it when someone hates what you do? When they post a one-star review, or cross the street to avoid your shop, or generally are unhappy with the very same thing that other people love?

It’s not for them.

They want something you don’t offer. Or they want to buy it from someone who isn’t you.

Or they don’t understand what it’s for or how or why you do it.

Some of these things you can address by telling a story more clearly, some you can’t.

Either way, right now, they’re telling you one thing: It’s not for them.

Okay, thanks for letting us know.

How fast are Robotics and Artificial Intelligence progressing?

& Are Progressing Fast


In Context. “Arab” civilization? or Islamic civilizations, or Ottoman civilization…?

Many articles are written and will be published trying to explain and clarify “What is Arab civilization” in order to comprehend the Al Qaeda and ISIS Daesh phenomena and all these Islamic extremist factions all over the Islamic world.

As if there is a unique Arab civilization, an empire that ruled the world for 6 centuries and many other Islamic kingdoms replaced this empire around the world.

In context is an attempt to clarify many myths and generalizations about Islamic and Arab cultures and civilizations.

The Islamic Arabic army that came from the Arabic Peninsula 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? Not possible.

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 used Arabic for scientifi and philosophical books.

The “Arabic identity” group 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 Moslems.  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 work against democratic representations, racial demagoguery, sectarian political ideology.




November 2017
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