Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Rabelais

Shadows and Booms; (Jan. 26, 2010)

Jotted down words; erased many.

Kept words reminding me

Of shadows, reflections, music,

And images glowing in the lights

In humility, simplicity, and candor

I receive the “Torma

This loaf of bread left in Tibet

On distant roads

For passing pilgrims to feed on.

Never mind that birds get first serving.

Amid the vacarmes of the battle,

Everything froze: warriors and horses.

Frozen words, in mid air, melted.

Like cannon ball echoes,

Words reverberated in living booms.

Note: Borrowed ideas from Rabelais and Mounir Abu Debs.

Why women write? (February 2, 2010)

A gathering of 50 Lebanese authors, mostly women, were invited to contribute a chapter on the topic “Why I write”.  The volume collected 50 developed reasons for the desire to write.

I intend to classify the reasons accompanied with succinct summaries.

An abbot wrote in 1771 “We have got to steadfastly refrain from writing. If we have to write, then it is better be worthier than silence”

“I got an ink pen as gift at the age of nine.  It was meant to write with.  I was trained to write: I am a shy person and writing was deliverance.  Writing is now a fatality” said Fifi Abou Dib

“I send letters; thus, I consider that I publish”

“I write to reduce the distance that separates me with the other”

“Words and ideas do not procure pleasure: it is the attention and expressed solicitude that grab the emotions of the reader”

“The frozen words, suspended in mid air, melted. Like cannon ball echoes, words reverberated in living booms” wrote Rabelais.

“I jot down words and erase many.  I save words that remind me of shadows, reflection, music and lighted images.  In humility, simplicity, and candor I receive the “Torma”, this loaf of bread placed in Tibet on roads for the hungry pilgrims.  Never mind that birds get first serving” wrote Mounir Abou Debs.

“Writing is breaking the silence. More importantly, publishing is to animate discussions, rectifying idiosyncrasies, and giving meaning to our belief that mankind is one species.”

“Writing is a mode of existing, of identification, and of resistance”

“I write because voices demand it”

“Writing is the best technique to training my mind: I write to recollect my mostly forgotten childhood; I write to glorify youth by pitying mine; I write to chastise grandly my adulthood; I write to rejuvenate my feelings in middle age; I write to live the rebirth child in me, eyes wide opened, as years advances.” Adonis49

Shadows and Booms; (Jan. 26, 2010)

            Jotted down words; erased many.

            Kept words reminding me

            Of shadows, reflections, music,

            And images glowing in the lights

            In humility, simplicity, and candor

            I receive the “Torma”

            This loaf of bread left in Tibet

            On distant roads

            For passing pilgrims to feed on.

            Never mind that birds get first serving.

            Amid the vacarms of the battle,

            Everything froze: warriors and horses.

            Frozen words, in mid air, melted.

            Like cannon ball echoes,

            Words reverberated in living booms.

Note: Borrowed ideas from Rabelais and Mounir Abu Debs.

 “What are the rights of the beast of burden; like a donkey?”

November 13, 2004 

Note:  I am re-publishing professional articles instead of updating them for readers who missed then 5 months ago.

People used to own donkeys for special works and they still do in many places.

Donkeys are relatively cheap, if you can find them, and are quite obedient and resilient.

Donkeys can endure hardships if you provide them with food and minimal lodging.

Low level employees in data input jobs are far less loved and appreciated than the former hot blooded mammals.

They helplessly endure repetitive musculoskeletal pains and many of the clerks do proudly claim these pains as a badge of honor.

They are remunerated cheaper than donkeys because all that their job entails is to just sit and do monotonous work.

They suffer all the sedentary diseases: neck, head, shoulders, and back pains.

They suffer irremediable hands, fingers and wrists handicaps for the rest of their wretched lives.

Graphic designers are certainly a tad better: 

They are paid slightly better not for their artistic imagination but, may be, because they can also use a few more computer application programs.

Historically, the design of the characters on the first typewriters was meant to slow down typing:

Fast typing used to jam the arms of the mechanical typewriters.

A large order by a big company at the time hampered any redesign of the characters for the newer technological advances in the manufacture of typewriters.

Still, secretaries had to awkwardly learn typing fast to meet production and greed.

The benefits of redesigning the shapes and forms of computer keyboards, which could temporarily alleviate the many cumulative musculoskeletal disorders from harsh continuous and daily typing, did not reach the common typists and data entry clerks.

These low level employees were not worth any investment in upgraded keyboards.

Higher level employees, who barely use computers for any productive task, were honored with the latest gismos.

In fact, I believe that even the best ergonomically designed keyboards cannot solve these disorders:

Heavy computer users, for eight hours daily, are still performing repetitive movements, sitting still, eyes riveted to a display.

They are still asked to perform maximally, under the watchful and tireless computer supervisor:

An efficient program embedded in the computer itself; a program that collects data and analyzes performances of the donkey clerk.

Employees should not demand any redesign of the characters on keyboards.

Any faster typing design will be at their detriment and they will pay the price bitterly.

Their task will come to higher risks to their health and safety with no increase in wages. 

They should know that faster standards will then be required of them;

Instead of 60 words per minutes Mr. Greed might ask of them to be able to type 300 wpm.

It is not enough to improve technology; we need to restrain its consequences.

Bless Rabelais who said: “Science without conscience is the ruin of the soul”.

Famous Manuscripts Banned by the Vatican: (Part 2, April 19, 2009)

Thousands of literary works were indexed by the Vatican from around 1200 to 1966.

Virtually no author was spared indexing. Pascal, Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Diderot, Stendhal, Lamartine, Hugo, Flaubert, Balzac, Saint-Simon, Proudhon, Zola, Sartre, and even Gide were indexed for part of their work. 

Voltaire was the most indexed: each of his manuscripts was automatically indexed before reading it. Voltaire would occasionally sign Ecralinf meaning (Let us crush the despicable infamous Church of Rome)

Ironically, Darwin, Karl Marx, and Hitler were spared INDEXING.

The Defender of Peace” by Marsile of Padua (Rector of the University of Paris) is published in 1324 and banned by the Church. The manuscript said that the function of governance does not suit the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) because this urge for domination of the Church is the bane of all discords.  Communities should be governed by their own councils.

Baruch Spinoza published “Treaty on Theological-Politics” in 1670.  He is excommunicated (herem) by the Jewish Wise Men of the synagogue of Amsterdam and later indexed by the Vatican. Spinoza claimed that the Torah is false, that soul dies with the body, and that God exist only philosophically.  Religions instituted a God with 7 main characteristics so that their logical scaffold can hold: God should be One, Unique, Omnipresent, has absolute authority and rights over everything, that obeisance to God consist in justice and charity, that Heaven and Hell are the consequences of our behaviors, and finally that God is forgiving because everyone is a sinner. Faith does not dwell on whether God is fire, spirit, light, or thought.

Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais published “The Wedding of Figaro” in 1781. This manuscript said of the aristocrats “You were given the pain of being born, and nothing else”; and thus was blamed for disturbing the social construct.  Beaumarchais published also “The Barber of Seville”

“Praise of Folly” (L’Eloge de la Folie) by Erasmus of Rotterdam was indexed in 1511.  Under the mask of irony, Erasmus creates a Foul dominating the World and supported by ignorant idiots with humongous Ego; he attacks the theologians and scholastic specialties whom thrive in adding subtlety over subtlety in order to obscure any kind of comprehension.  In just the same century, the manuscript is re-edited 600 times.

“The Prince” of Nicolas Machiavelli is published in 1513 in Florence.  The book explains how a Prince should behave to acquire and then retain power and would be one of the founders of modern political thinking.

“The Third Book” of Francois Rabelais was published in 1532.  The previous publications “Pantagruel” and “Gargantua” were not spared indexing too.  The art of mockery far exceed that of Erasmus and his farces scorch all the princes.  Moliere would rely on Rabelais’ works for his comedies.

The Essays” of about 107 of essays by Michel Montaigne are published as of 1580 and was censured by the Church Inquisition.  The Church didn’t like the offhandedness of mixing sacred topics with profane subjects and the manuscript was judged morally too permissive.

“The new Stories” succeeds the famous fables of Jean de la Fontaine and are published as of 1674 and mocks the clerics and was indexed for “corrupting the moral and inspiring libertine behaviors”.  Before he dies, his confessor forced him to recant, and he did so that he may die in peace of that pest of cleric.

“The Spirit of Laws” by Charles-Louis of Montesquieu was published in Switzerland in 1748 to avoid censuring.  The author demanded that the three branches of executive, legislative, and justice enjoy independent powers for check and balance in governance.

“Therese the Philosopher” by Jean-Baptiste Boyer was published in 1748, in the same year that “Fanny Hill” of John Cleland was published.  This manuscript described in details the bacchant sacrilegious ceremonies that a Pope relished. The Marquis of Sade would imitate that genre of pornography.  It is rumored that these kinds of books influenced the French Revolution more than any other manuscripts.  The French National Library cataloged this book under “Hell” section.

“Emile” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau was published in 1762.  Rousseau offered a new educational system for kids so that the natural kindness of humankind is preserved; that kids enjoy their lives as kids and refrain from reading before the age of 12; that they wear loose garments to play leisurely.  The manuscript was indexed and publicly burned in Paris for inciting man to follow his instincts.  Rousseau will publish “The Social Contract” in 1766 and Geneva Council banished it.  In reaction, Rousseau abandoned his Switzerland nationality.

 “What are the rights of the beast of burden; like a donkey?” (Written in November 13, 2004)

Article #4: Human Factors in Engineering

People used to own donkeys for special works and they still do in many places.

Donkeys are relatively cheap, if you can find them:  They are quite obedient and resilient.

Donkeys can endure hardships if you provide food and minimal care.

Low level employees, such as in data input jobs, are far less loved and appreciated than the former hot blooded mammals.

They helplessly endure repetitive musculo-skeletal pains; many of the clerks do proudly claim these pains as a badge of honor.

They are remunerated cheaper than donkeys because all that their job entails is to just sit and do monotonous work.

They suffer all the sedentary diseases: neck, head, shoulders, and back pains.

They suffer irremediable hands, fingers and wrists handicaps for the rest of their wretched lives.

Graphic designers are certainly a tad better: They are paid slightly better; not for their artistic imagination, but, may be, because they can also use a few more computer application programs.

Historically, the design of the characters on the first typewriters was meant to slow down typing:

Fast typing used to jam the arms of the mechanical typewriters.

A large order by a big company at the time hampered any redesign of the characters for the newer technological advances in the manufacture of typewriters.

Still, secretaries had to awkwardly learn typing fast to meet production and greed.

The benefits of redesigning the shapes and forms of computer keyboards, which could temporarily alleviate the many cumulative musculo-skeletal disorders from harsh continuous and daily typing, did not reach the common typists and data entry clerks.

These low level employees were not worth any investment in upgraded keyboards.

Higher level employees, who barely use computers for any productive task, were honored with the latest gizmos.

In fact, I believe that even the best ergonomically designed keyboards cannot solve these disorders:

Heavy computer users, for 8 hours daily, are still performing repetitive movements, sitting still, eyes riveted to a display.

They are still asked to perform maximally, under the watchful and tireless computer supervisor:

An efficient program embedded in the computer itself; a program that collects data and analyzes performances of the donkey clerk.

Employees should not demand any redesign of the characters on keyboards.

Any faster typing design will be at their detriment and they will pay the price bitterly.

Their task will come to higher risks to their health and safety with no increase in wages.

They should know that faster standards will then be required of them;

Instead of 60 words per minutes, Mr. Greed might ask of them to be able to type 300 wpm.

It is not enough to improve technology; we need to restrain its consequences.

Bless the French Rabelais who said: “Science without conscience is the ruin of the soul”.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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