Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘power

A detour stroll in “Doubts Park

Note: Re-edit of “One lovely stroll in Doubts Park; (Jan. 4, 2010)”

I always claimed that whatever I do is meant to search for the Truth.

That is a lie: I run away from the fact that our reality is fundamentally the universe of doubts.

I should admit that this world of doubts is specific to humankind, I should accept it, integrate it in my life and enjoy strolling in Doubts Park.

It is nice, now and then, to take a short break from listing the thousands of questions that constantly perturb cognitive man and try to please my huge ego by trying to resolve a single existential question, just for the fun of it.

I was led lately to read with some attention detailed descriptions of heaven and hell.

I was shocked with these infantile and crude stories that are carbon copies in all religious Books.

I had the impression that all these prophets had No imagination for even slight variations; actually the only tiny variations were in the sadistic punishment of those intended to be visiting hell.

I had another revelation: all those prophets started recounting scenes of heaven and hell after they received recognition and enjoyed the tendency to clinging to power.

It was as if scaring people is the common technique to all who hold on to power.

All those prophets lived the masochist life till getting recognition and then let their imagination loose on the saddest sadistic punishments and unbridled lusty desires.

It was like all prophets are of a certain type of men that sustain only extreme binary attitudes in their deep subconscious, while disseminating the message of learning to tend to the middle line in the spectrum of our passions.

I have something to say; but first let me refresh your memory.

On Heaven

You have got about six rivers.  You select from the following items:

First, a river of pure running potable water;

Second, a river of milk or yogurt with even taste (you might have to settle on your favorite taste; if you didn’t have the opportunity to taste all the fruity flavors then never mind: there must be available more exhilarant venues to investigate; anyway, you have all the time unless you start rebelling again. If you are allergic to milk then no problems, go on selecting other items);

Third, a river of honey (I assume in those days only unadulterated bee’s honey was marketed; more Book’s research funding is required);

Fourth, a river of perfume (not specific, you would have tough choices if you failed to try all scents while alive);

Fifth, a river of wine, most probably beer, which never gets you inebriated enough to utter foul sentences or curse the Devils.

(I guess you should have choices of alcoholic beverages: you earned it.  My hypothesis is that you can opt for the four rivers to be of the wine kinds: you earned it, mind you).

Sixth, a river of oil (I am strongly inclined to believe that it is olive oil; tough luck if you hate olive oil; you can switch this river to scotch or vodka, I guess).

How to drink is no problem in heaven: you can use crystal cups, jars, Jeri can of gold, silver, or titanium (that last metal is of my own invention) or just sit and lap straight from the source or I would suggest letting your sweetheart pour it from her fresh mouth.

Oh, on the subject of sweetheart you have to be patient a little: I just like suspense.

If none of these rivers are to your liking then remember: the guiding light is not to worry about heaven: it is the other alternative that you should mind about.

From what I read I came into understanding that we are all going first to hell.

Pretty much as in immigration concentration camps.

Then, very few would be shown the exit door; and a few would be acrobatic and focused enough to cross the long thin bridge to heaven.

I should stick to heaven now.

You don’t have to worry at all.  Just imagine the varieties of condiments!

Do you like fresh, juicy, and ripe fruits?  Do you love dates, grapes, or pomegranates?  These are the fruits mentioned in the Books.

Remember, you better get a taste for Levantine assortment of fruits; but it is also said that you can have any kind of fruits and I suggest you don’t get frazzled that soon.

The beauty of it is that trees will deliver their fruits in any position you feel comfortable in (such as standing, lying, stooping, or sitting).

My impression is that you could order the branch to drop the fruit in your open mouth.  If I physically toiled hard in my life then that would be my ideal option of delivery.

Hey man, wait.  We have got the best news ever.

It will blow your brain away. You will have all the women and adolescent men for any kind of intercourse you desire. You can throw bacchant parties any time you want and you will be perched on high wide beds, very cushy, and perfectly ergonomically comfortable.

Good tiding for the women kind.

You women are nowhere mentioned in the picture of heaven and hell: the Jewish sect in Judea never endowed you with souls anyway.  But don’t you worry as yet.

God will recreate you to pleasure the select men.  Sorry, since very few men will be selected to go to heaven then don’t push: not all of you will be re-created.

The good news is, if created, you will all have white skin, screwy eyes (hawal), long hair, and none of you would be over 33 of age.  You will enjoy firm tits; it is up to the select men to shape your tits to the fruit of their desire. That is how I figure it.

Certainly you will be wearing jewelry and silk dresses. I think that, unlike men wearing only fine white robes, you might have a wide selection of fabrics and colors.

On Hell

This section would be brief: I know that you guys have suffered enough in this life that you don’t give much weight to the puny punishments that you might be allotted in hell.

Hell is simply fire, a lot of it, and its temperature is 60 times the temperature of earth core.

Hell is not upgraded with fire alarms. It was the result of lack of imagination: a million fire alarms going off at all the time would certainly scare the Bejesus out of anyone, regardless if he was engulfed in fire and black smoke.

Thus, don’t fear that much, please.  The mechanical instruments for conveying pain are archaic; they are mostly chains, gardening, and harvesting implements…

There is no diabolic high tech suffering machines.  I failed to read that you might be half buried in sand to be nibbled at by ants in a scorching desert.

Guantanamo Bay was, since time of creation, in the visual field of God but he refrained at the last second: God wanted to test the evil potentials of men.

You may read the reports of the commissions on human rights and the juicy archives in the United Nations.

You will be zipped straight to hell with no recourse for leniency, even if you witnessed close death encounters several times.

Just writing this article, any sacerdotal caste should judge me as good as dead a dozen times.

As for what might open the gate of heaven is simple: allow no one to share power with God, have field charity in the heart coupled by notarized proofs.

I doubt that predicators go around describing in details the conditions in hell and heaven; they tend to just mention hell and heaven as if everybody was told once in his life the stories in these final relocation places: I guess once is enough to grab the attention of kids.

Most probably, hell was described to kids at untenable moments, but I doubt heaven was ever a favorite topic to parents.

My suggestion is if we feel ashamed to tell the minute details of hell and heaven as recounted in the Books, if these stories should be labeled X-rated for cruelty or sexuality and not suited for less than 18 years of age, then the words hell and heaven should be scraped from theology teaching.

Faith should not be based on a reward system: If Heaven and Hell are the return for a life-time of toil and struggles then, they don’t come close accounting for justice.

Faith is this pleasuring drama of playing stupid, communicating our confidence in human good natured heart and well intentioned purpose to rescuing his fellow man in time of need.

Sometimes, true faith generates reciprocating pleasure and it increases human dignity on pragmatic criteria. It is not worth feeling bitter of your limitations: suffice to believe that all living creatures are holy.

The first attribute of human kind is freedom to doubt; the second attribute is liberty to take pride in what we doubt.

The level headed should desire to die.

If hell, then it is a piece of cake compared to our hellish life on earth; ask any persecuted inhabitant who was detained, tortured, and humiliated.

Ask people dead from famine or thirst.

Definitely, hell has lost its power to scare.

If heaven, then hmm…it won’t be such a bad condition after all to live in.

I might be slightly worried of boredom, but I trust God would endow the sexy “Houries” with enough playfulness to keep me interested for eternity.  Heaven definitely can have my vote.

Life is all about taking a single stand for human dignity.

I sincerely hope that my readers are invested with strong sense of humor.



The illusion of fulfillment causes leaders to crash and burn.

Power and authority:

Power and authority feel like fulfillment but the feeling is intoxication. Those worthy of power and authority feel humility and responsibility when they receive it. Those unworthy, feel arrogance.

Relaxation: Don’t confuse fulfillment with relaxation.

Relaxation and fulfillment feel almost the same but they’re separate experiences. Sitting on the beach with your toes dangling in the water feels relaxing. Sacrificing in service to others feels fulfilling.

The danger you face is relaxation feels like fulfillment. But relaxing feels good while you’re doing it, working through tough challenges feels fulfilling after you do it. A team that sticks together through conflict feels fulfilled when they work together.

Preparation and work: The excitement of being successful without doing the work is like getting away with speeding. But it’s not fulfilling.

The difference between relaxation and fulfillment is that relaxation turns to boredom.

Preparation and work lead to fulfillment. The sense that you did your best is fulfilling. But showing up unprepared felt good while you were dangling your toes in the water.

Enjoyment isn’t fulfillment because fulfillment costs and enjoyment is easy (Not that easy: need general knowledge to enjoy anything Not physical)

I can walk through the Metropolitan Museum of Art and enjoy the paintings. But I haven’t done the work of understanding art to feel fulfillment.

Self-respect: Self-respect is the noble side of fulfillment. You don’t respect yourself while relaxing, unless relaxation has been earned. Even then, small doses of relaxation are enough.

What did it cost you to earn the opportunity to dangle your toes? If it didn’t cost you anything, it’s quickly boring, not fulfilling.

Anything that comes easy isn’t fulfilling.

The opportunity of leadership is feeling self-respect and gratitude for paying the price.

Fulfillment is inconvenient.

What are the components of fulfillment?

Technical skills, power and influence

When a new technology arrives, it’s often the nerds and the neophiliacs who embrace it.

People who see themselves as busy and important often dismiss the new medium or tool as a bit of a gimmick and then “go back to work.”

It’s only a few years later when the people who understand those tools are the ones calling the shots.

Because “the work” is now centered on that thing that folks hesitated to learn when they had the chance.

And so, it’s the web programmers who hold the keys to the future of the business, or the folks who live in mobile.

Or it’s the design strategists who thrive in Photoshop and UI thinking who determine what gets built or invested in…

There’s never a guarantee that the next technology is going to be the one that moves to the center of the conversation. But it’s certain that a new technology will. It always has.

Politics and power: Any significant shift?

“In the last 20 years, there has been a fundamental shift in the balance of power in the world.” What new power looks like?

This is Anna Hazare, and she may well be the most cutting-edge digital activist in the world today.

And you wouldn’t know it by looking at Hazare, a 77-year-old Indian anticorruption and social justice activist.

In 2011, he was running a big campaign to address everyday corruption in India, a topic that Indian elites love to ignore. So as part of this campaign, he was using all of the traditional tactics that a good Gandhian organizer would use. So he was on a hunger strike, and Hazare realized through his hunger that actually maybe this time, in the 21st century, a hunger strike wouldn’t be enough.

0:53 He started playing around with mobile activism. So the first thing he did is he said to people, “Okay, why don’t you send me a text message if you support my campaign against corruption?” So he does this, he gives people a short code, and about 80,000 people do it. Okay, that’s pretty respectable.

But then he decides, “Let me tweak my tactics a little bit.” He says, “Why don’t you leave me a missed call?” Now, for those of you who have lived in the global South, you’ll know that missed calls are a really critical part of global mobile culture. I see people nodding. People leave missed calls all the time: If you’re running late for a meeting and you just want to let them know that you’re on the way, you leave them a missed call.

If you’re dating someone and you just want to say “I miss you” you leave them a missed call. So a note for a dating tip here, in some cultures, if you want to please your lover, you call them and hang up. (Laughter) So why do people leave missed calls? Well, the reason of course is that they’re trying to avoid charges associated with making calls and sending texts.

When Hazare asked people to leave him a missed call, let’s have a little guess how many people actually did this? Thirty-five million. So this is one of the largest coordinated actions in human history.

It’s remarkable. And this reflects the extraordinary strength of the emerging Indian middle class and the power that their mobile phones bring. But he used that, Hazare ended up with this massive CSV file of mobile phone numbers, and he used that to deploy real people power on the ground to get hundreds of thousands of people out on the streets in Delhi to make a national point of everyday corruption in India. It’s a really striking story.

This is me when I was 12 years old. I hope you see the resemblance. And I was also an activist, and I have been an activist all my life. I had this really funny childhood where I traipsed around the world meeting world leaders and Noble prize winners, talking about Third World debt, as it was then called, and demilitarization. I was a very, very serious child. (Laughter)

And back then, in the early ’90s, I had a very cutting-edge tech tool of my own: the fax. And the fax was the tool of my activism. And at that time, it was the best way to get a message to a lot of people all at once. I’ll give you one example of a fax campaign that I ran. It was the eve of the Gulf War and I organized a global campaign to flood the hotel, the Intercontinental in Geneva, where James Baker and Tariq Aziz were meeting on the eve of the war, and I thought if I could flood them with faxes, we’ll stop the war.

Unsurprisingly, that campaign was wholly unsuccessful. There are lots of reasons for that, but there’s no doubt that one sputtering fax machine in Geneva was a little bit of a bandwidth constraint in terms of the ability to get a message to lots of people. And so, I went on to discover some better tools. I cofounded Avaaz, which uses the Internet to mobilize people and now has almost 40 million members, and I now run Purpose, which is a home for these kinds of technology-powered movements. So what’s the moral of this story? Is the moral of this story, you know what, the fax is kind of eclipsed by the mobile phone? This is another story of tech-determinism?

Well, I would argue that there’s actually more to it than that. I’d argue that in the last 20 years, something more fundamental has changed than just new tech. I would argue that there has been a fundamental shift in the balance of power in the world.

You ask any activist how to understand the world, and they’ll say, “Look at where the power is, who has it, how it’s shifting.” And I think we all sense that something big is happening.

Henry Timms and I — Henry’s a fellow movement builder — got talking one day and we started to think, how can we make sense of this new world? How can we describe it and give it a framework that makes it more useful? Because we realized that many of the lessons that we were discovering in movements actually applied all over the world in many sectors of our society. So I want to introduce you to this framework: Old power, meet new power.

And I want to talk to you about what new power is today. New power is the deployment of mass participation and peer coordination — these are the two key elements — to create change and shift outcomes. And we see new power all around us.

This is Beppe Grillo he was a populist Italian blogger (and still is?) who, with a minimal political apparatus and only some online tools, won more than 25 percent of the vote in recent Italian elections. This is Airbnb, which in just a few years has radically disrupted the hotel industry without owning a single square foot of real estate.

This is Kickstarter, which we know has raised over a billion dollars from more than five million people. Now, we’re familiar with all of these models. But what’s striking is the commonalities, the structural features of these new models and how they differ from old power.

Let’s look a little bit at this. Old power is held like a currency.

New power works like a current. Old power is held by a few. New power isn’t held by a few, it’s made by many. Old power is all about download, and new power uploads. And you see a whole set of characteristics that you can trace, whether it’s in media or politics or education.

we’ve talked a little bit about what new power is. Let’s, for a second, talk about what new power isn’t. New power is not your Facebook page. I assure you that having a social media strategy can enable you to do just as much download as you used to do when you had the radio.

Just ask Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, I assure you that his Facebook page has not embraced the power of participation. New power is not inherently positive. In fact, this isn’t an normative argument that we’re making, there are many good things about new power, but it can produce bad outcomes.

More participation, more peer coordination, sometimes distorts outcomes and there are some things, like things, for example, in the medical profession that we want new power to get nowhere near. And thirdly, new power is not the inevitable victor. In fact, unsurprisingly, as many of these new power models get to scale, what you see is this massive pushback from the forces of old power.

Just look at this really interesting epic struggle going on right now between Edward Snowden and the NSA. You’ll note that only one of the two people on this slide is currently in exile. And so, it’s not at all clear that new power will be the inevitable victor.

7:43 That said, keep one thing in mind: We’re at the beginning of a very steep curve. So you think about some of these new power models, right? These were just like someone’s garage idea a few years ago, and now they’re disrupting entire industries. And so, what’s interesting about new power, is the way it feeds on itself.

Once you have an experience of new power, you tend to expect and want more of it. So let’s say you’ve used a peer-to-peer lending platform like Lending Tree or Prosper, then you’ve figured out that you don’t need the bank, and who wants the bank, right? And so, that experience tends to embolden you it tends to make you want more participation across more aspects of your life.

And what this gives rise to is a set of values. We talked about the models that new power has engendered — the Airbnbs, the Kickstarters. What about the values? And this is an early sketch at what new power values look like.

New power values prize transparency above all else. It’s almost a religious belief in transparency, a belief that if you shine a light on something, it will be better. And remember that in the 20th century, this was not at all true. People thought that gentlemen should sit behind closed doors and make comfortable agreements. New power values of informal, networked governance.

New power folks would never have invented the U.N. today, for better or worse. New power values participation, and new power is all about do-it-yourself. In fact, what’s interesting about new power is that it eschews some of the professionalization and specialization that was all the rage in the 20th century.

9:17 So what’s interesting about these new power values and these new power models is what they mean for organizations. So we’ve spent a bit of time thinking, how can we plot organizations on a two-by-two where, essentially, we look at new power values and new power models and see where different people sit? We started with a U.S. analysis, and let me show you some interesting findings.

So the first is Apple. In this framework, we actually described Apple as an old power company. That’s because the ideology, the governing ideology of Apple is the ideology of the perfectionist product designer in Cupertino. It’s absolutely about that beautiful, perfect thing descending upon us in perfection. And it does not value, as a company, transparency. In fact, it’s very secretive.

Now, Apple is one of the most succesful companies in the world. So this shows that you can still pursue a successful old power strategy. But one can argue that there’s real vulnerabilites in that model. I think another interesting comparison is that of the Obama campaign versus the Obama presidency. (Applause)

I like President Obama, but he ran with new power at his back, right? And he said to people, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. And he used crowdfunding to power a campaign. But when he got into office, he governed like more or less all the other presidents did. And this is a really interesting trend, is when new power gets powerful, what happens?

So this is a framework you should look at and think about where your own organization sits on it. And think about where it should be in five or 10 years. So what do you do if you’re old power? Well, if you’re there thinking, in old power, this won’t happen to us. Then just look at the Wikipedia entry for Encyclopædia Britannica. Let me tell you, it’s a very sad read.

11:14 But if you are old power, the most important thing you can do is to occupy yourself before others occupy you, before you are occupied. Imagine that a group of your biggest skeptics are camped in the heart of your organization asking the toughest questions and they can see everything inside of your organization.

And ask them, would they like what they see and should our model change? What about if you’re new power? Is new power kind of just riding the wave to glory? I would argue no. I would argue that there are some very real challenges to new power in this nascent phase. Let’s stick with the Occupy Wall Street example for a moment. Occupy was this incredible example of new power, the purest example of new power.

And yet, it failed to consolidate. So the energy that it created was great for the meme phase, but they were so committed to participation, that they never got anything done. And in fact that model means that the challenge for new power is: how do you use institutional power without being institutionalized?

One the other end of the spectra is Uber. Uber is an amazing, highly scalable new power model. That network is getting denser and denser by the day. But what’s really interesting about Uber is it hasn’t really adopted new power values. This is a real quote from the Uber CEO recently: He says, “Once we get rid of the dude in the car” — he means drivers — “Uber will be cheaper.”

New power models live and die by the strength of their networks. By whether the drivers and the consumers who use the service actually believe in it. Because they’re not an exercise of top-down perfectionism, they are about the network. And so, the challenge, and this is why it’s in no way surprising, is that Uber’s drivers are now unionizing. It’s extraordinary.

Uber’s drivers are turning on Uber. And the challenge for Uber — this isn’t an easy situation for them — is that they are locked into a broader superstrcuture that is really old power. They’ve raised more than a billion dollars in the capital markets. Those markets expect a financial return, and they way you get a financial return is by squeezing and squeezing your users and your drivers for more and more value and giving that value to your investors.

 the big question about the future of new power, in my view, is: Will that old power just emerge? So will new power elites just become old power and squeeze? Or will that new power base bite back? Will the next big Uber be co-owned by Uber drivers? And I think this going to be a very interesting structural question.

13:56 Finally, think about new power being more than just an entity that scales things that make us have slightly better consumer experiences. My call to action for new power is to not be an island. We have major structural problems in the world today that could benefit enormously from the kinds of mass participation and peer coordination that these new power players know so well how to generate.

And we badly need them to turn their energies and their power to big, what economists might call public goods problems, that are often beyond markets where investors can easily be found.

I think if we can do that, we might be able to fundamentally change not only human beings’ sense of their own agency and power — because I think that’s the most wonderful thing about new power, is that people feel more powerful — but we might also be able to change the way we relate to each other and the way we relate to authority and institutions. And to me, that’s absolutely worth trying for.

Patsy Z  shared this link

“In the last 20 years, there has been a fundamental shift in the balance of power in the world.” What new power looks like:|By Jeremy Heimans

Live and let live? And the power of Ego?  February 27, 2015

This power that I have a mind of my own?

Believing in one God of several Gods or Demigods who created and organized this universe is not any more difficult to fathom than the myriad of ways people behave, think and reflect as they grow up.

If mankind was so limited in his behaviour, then studying man would have been as straightforward and simple as studying the laws of nature.

All you had to do is to control efficiently and as accurately the few variables we research to affect a particular behaviour.

In all the critical questions such as death, what after death, birth, how we survived the infantile stage and live to long age, how mankind managed to exist, does a God or several exist… the only main factor of interest to each one of us is “And my Ego? Where is my Ego in the equation?”

I should tend carefully and assiduously to the status of my Ego in all your discussions.

Nothing is of value if my Ego was not given its full weight and its vast contribution to mankind and the sustainable activity for a renewable nature.

Isn’t this your main concern?

Even if I died and nobody knew that I died or what I may have contributed to any kinds of community, I still insist that want my Ego in the equation.

And the more incognito I existed, the louder and vociferous I am in matter of life, death, contraception, euthanasia, death sentences, abortion, equal rights to all regardless of equal contribution to humanity

Sciences may unveil a few mysteries, but the mysteries do Not necessarily cease to be miracles.

The highest miracle of all is to have lived long enough to grow to think that I acquired a mind of my own, a set of values of my own, and that I can survive, away from my parents and my close community.

Live and let live means: Never believe that you have the right to be blunt and cruel to disprove an individual that he indeed cannot have a mind of his own.

The lot of the living is a continuous stream of pains, suffering, depression, affliction, in nature “Red in tooth and claws”, and our violent behaviour toward others.

And here is the puzzle:

Either the Gods cannot abolish Evil or they will not.

If God cannot, he is Not all powerful.

If God will not, he is not all that good.

Either God is not all powerful or he is not all goodness.

I tend to side with the statement: God is not that powerful and does not wish it to be.

For all those insisting on the existence of a God by necessity, at least refrain from substituting your abstract concepts of rightfulness when acting or judging the behaviour of others.



Capitalism redefines Time; (Mar. 21, 2010)

            The dividing line between present and future is invisible for the capitalist spirit: the past is passive and inefficacious to revert to and the future is mobile and evolving.  I saw an old American movie a couple days ago: a customer is checking a Cadillac and asks the salesman: “Is it this year model?” and the dealer to reply: “This is next year model you are sitting in”

            Capitalism captured the western cultural guiding rod in the last century: Time was no longer the enemy to mankind and time should be considered as the main dependent variable when studying nature, life, evolution, and development while space, temperature, climate, and the multitude of other independent factors were meant to explaining time. Time (and what correspond to time such as speed, rate, and turnover) is a directive God, the one notion that essentially defines all the other phenomena in the universe. Time and timeline are the measuring guideline to all human activities: work, distances, history, space, production, marketing, investment, liquidity, and budget. All other societies had to keep up with capitalism rhythm of what became the standard terminology and behavioral routines.

            Power is no longer essentially related to borders, raw materials, dimensions of a nation, or even larger armies.  Power is rate of return, turnover rate, and quickness in planning and starting production; power is quickness in distribution and consumption, quickness in gathering information and timely intelligence, quickness in analyzing and interpreting data, and quickness in relaying and disseminating information and intelligence.  Power is how Time is tamed and used as the most potent ally and tool.  Power is how to discover the best method to control and manage Time.

            Oil, as a raw material, is no longer an intrinsic power; the value of oil is how quickly deposits are located, excavated, drilled, produced, refined, distributed, and consumed. Geopolitics, as a political power status, has changed its laws into chrono-politics for the flow of signals, dissemination of intelligence, and turnover of fundamental research into applied sciences.

            Multinationals that represent the spirit of capitalism have tamed the most potent power tool: Time.  Multinationals have set the rules of the game on how to compute, evaluate, account, and transform liquidity into ready investment; on how to change the concept of interest to periods of computing it; on how profit is defined as turnover rate of products and services.  Multinationals have set the rules of how to do business, how to think business, and how to dominate with other people’s money and raw materials.

            You cannot fight and win an enemy who adopted and tamed Time as its ultimate potent God while your arsenal is still limited to inert space and your notion of time is reversed toward the dead past, a past that is incorrectly read and synthesized.

            It does not mean that capitalism cannot be defeated the way it is practiced as rules of the game but in the first phase you need to get trained to capitalism efficacious arsenal and then insert other dimensions to reform and transform the current ideology of capitalism. The new civilization capable to counter the enemy has to work toward a more viable quality of life such as earth sustainable ethics, eco-ethics, quality time to knowing yourself, quality time to listen intently to your communicator, quality time to focus on reading books relevant to man emotional development, and respect of the ancestors. 

            Most important to countering the enemy is learning to reserve peaceful time to reading the past without the need to superimpose your current obsessions and difficulties in order to interpret the past correctly and not tend to finding mythical solutions in the past that do not correspond to current realities:  the fainting fits in reviewing the past is one of the magical behaviors because we mostly fail to read correctly our traditions and history. In order to endeavor reading the past we first must feel comfortable and well rooted in our present. It is important to read the past as a hobby in hours of distractions; otherwise, we end up projecting our current problems on ancient texts  which distort proper focus on the initial content and context of the texts.  I am reminded of a saying by Teddy Goldsmith (1928-2009): “We can destroy Earth without violating a single law: it is illegal to protect nature!”

Note: I extracted this notion from the French book of Fatema Mernissi “The political Harem”.  Mernissi relied on the Moroccan author Mohammad Jaberi’s “We and our heritage” who criticized Moslem societies and imputed to the Western civilization the potent usage of time as its directive for modernization.  I thought to redirect the topic to a more specific ideological/economics concept that is more adequate to describing the trend in the last century since Western nations were very much attached to nationalism and still are in many instances.

Power: Not a Point of View (March 9, 2009)

Iran is planning to build 20 atomic power sites to generate electricity

Russia has aided finishing the first power station for a cost exceeding one billion dollars. Iran is not only the fourth exporter of oil but has also huge reserves in oil and gas. And yet, Iran spends enormous amount of hard cash money to import oil products and gasoline from overseas refineries.

The Iranians are building a second atomic power generator, almost alone and strong with the expertise they acquired.  The Iranian officials said that oil is a precious commodity that should not be wasted to generating dirty power

The developed nations have oil reserves but prefer to purchase oil at a reduced price in order to save their oil resources for their chemical and pharmaceutical industries for later generations. (Actually, chemical industries rely almost exclusively on oil products.)

The Arab Gulf States have established “sovereign funds” for the next generations but they all have vanished during the latest economic and financial recession.  What is left are highways and built stones.

I am exaggerating on purpose. This piece is meant to be a wake-up call. It is time to invest of the human potentials, social institutions, and political reforms.

Lebanon used to export electricity to Syria and Jordan in the 30’s during the French mandate. Presently, and 80 years later, and 65 years after its “independence”, Lebanon import electricity from Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. The populations of all these States have quadrupled in 80 years while Lebanon barely doubled, due to massive immigration, and we could not even double our power production. 

Our neighboring States have reached sort of power sufficiency and exporting surplus electricity to Lebanon. Lebanon has plenty of water and rivers but we failed to invest properly on our natural resources and hydraulic potentials. 

Not only we have not enough electricity, and none of it is hydraulically generated, but we have no running water.  We receive water twice a week for a few hours and we have to filtrate and purify what we receive.

The Lebanese family has to pay twice for electrical power and for water by supplementing their needs from the scalpers of private providers. The main culprits are those “Christian” Maronite political parties who claimed that the power of Lebanon resides in its military weakness.  Implicitly, those sectarian political parties meant that Lebanon should not challenge the dicta of Israel regarding our planning of our water resources.

Mind you that Israel purpose is to divert all our rivers toward its own Zionist State.

Electricity is a kind of power and oil and gas are essentials for locomotion and mechanization and industries.  Nevertheless, nations are judged developed according to the level of their research institutions. 

You might start the “egg or chicken” priority of security and stability first, but this is not the case.  When States invest on almost everything except knowledge base and research institutions, then you should not hope for stability and security. 

Developed nations respect States that focus their energies and resources on knowledge, literacy, and technologies and are willing to protect them from neighboring bullies.

Developed nations respect States that generate highly educated and well trained citizens regardless of size, origin, and natural resources.

Power is the level and quality of education, an education targeting the needs of the population and neighboring markets.

Power is no longer a point of view.




January 2021

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