Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Third World countries

Auto Stop in Mount Lebanon: Around Ain 3ar, Kornet Chehwan and Beit-Chabab…

I have been walking to the nearby private library of Fares Zoghbi (50,000 books) almost every day, rain or shine in the last 15 years.

It is no longer private, see note. It is maybe a two-mile walk and I make sure to flag every passing car in the first years when I had no internet connection: my purpose is to reach the library and to type my articles and post them on wordpress.com.

Yes, my purpose is to enjoy a climate of quiet and focused brain work and selecting fresh acquisition of books and magazine to read at home.

The manager Rita Zoghbi always bribes me with a cup of coffee: I am the most dedicated customer, and frequently I help myself with a cup of Nescafe around noon.

I am often invited to have pieces of cakes, sandwiches, cookies so that I don’t feel hungry when I arrive home around 2:15 pm.

The library closes at 2 pm and reopens at 3 pm, but I never return in the afternoon; supposedly I have other “cats to whip”.

Recently, Rita allowed me to stay while she is on afternoon break, and I am enjoying a continuous stay till 4:15 and generating plenty of productive works…

I decided to walk to the library, rain or shine, after I sold my car and do prefer Not to drive other people’s cars: You are always blamed for previous car defects that were not repaired…

Only old cars stop to pick me up; but I don’t mind at all: any short lift saves me time and physical energy.

A few drivers extend their arms meaning they are going far; as if I am going to Beirut or asking them to tour the world.

Any short lift is fantastic service to me, but how drivers figure that out?

Drivers of new cars and women drivers never even slow down to check on this hapless guy having the guts and recklessness of flagging them.

Since I start walking by 10 am, after finishing work on my garden and using up the scarce resources on water, I noticed that most cars are driven by women.  Not that they are going to a job, but they look intent on reaching destination and they have got to be driving somewhere.

Invariably, cars driven by women are very new; mostly monstrous four-wheel drive cars, and shining: cars driven by women have got to be shining for glamour reason.

In rainy days, I keep flagging my arms to warn drivers to slow down, lest they drench me worse than the pouring rain. Most people interpret my waving arms as curses and they accelerate. A few understand the gesture and smile to me sheepishly and slow down, then accelerate furiously.

You may be asking the interesting question: “Why do you have to walk?

First, I sold my old car: I could no longer afford to repair it, much less afford the increasing cost of gas.  I figured that 50% of my “savings” went into my old car.

Second, I am very reluctant supporting the huge budget imbalance of my pseudo-government, sort of civic disobedience:  apparently, the government makes tons of money from direct and indirect taxes from the stupid people who own a car.

Third, my monkish life-style (forced hermit) is restricted to about 4 miles around my residence and I don’t need to pay extra expenses renewing my driving license or car insurance or shoulder any other emergencies tasks like giving rides to nieces and nephews.

Oh, I can find many other reasons for why I have to walk, but mainly I am out of work and not in the mood of working at minimum wages or having to commute to a stupid job and wear down my nervous energy in traffic and pollution.

I used to teach at a university and I needed two hours to drive back and forth for a one-hour class.  I figured out that staying put, doing what I love to do best (reading, writing, and publishing for free), was saving me money and useless anxieties.

Thus, the best strategy to save your mental, physical, and nervous health is to decline earning money working for other people.

The less money you have the better; unless you win the jackpot: and you are stuck with an even bigger problem of managing too much money.

You almost always lose your money to scams who are much more astute than you are in these kinds of “money distribution” business.

One more huge advantage for walking to the library and being penniless:  I developed intelligent sensitivities.

I now have figured out that my close relatives are extremely judgmental for no other reasons that they have no guts to change their lifestyle.

I once asked my niece for $20 a month (less than what most people earn in third world countries).  That request was sent by internet two months ago; I have got to receive a reply.

I know that my other nieces and nephews learned about my request but there are no volunteers.

Judgmental are people; worst than Nazi, even if they don’t care about politics or are vegetarians or veg.

I noticed that all my nieces and nephews agreed to punish me for not trying to find an “earning job“. As if spending $100 on a stupid single eating out is an “energy booster” for their stupid “middle class” mentality…

Note: The library is no longer private: Owned by the French Jesuit University and making it hard for people to enjoy reading…They started charging $30 to come in and read.

And this year 2012, the university closed the library for December, and we are waiting for the end of February for the university to decide on a new manager and other higher fees and constraints.

Article #8, April 5, 2005

“What do you design again?”

Human Factors are primarily oriented to designing interfaces between systems and end users/operators.  Of the many interfaces two interfaces are common to people and can be grouped into two main categories: displays and controls. 

Designing the arrangements of displays and controls on consoles for utility companies, aircraft, trains, and automobiles according to applicable guidelines are examples.

Operators and end users need to receive information on the status of a complex system and be able to respond to this information through a control device. Thus, once a designer knows what needs to be controlled in a system and how, then the required types of displays follow.

Displays and controls can become complex devices if not designed to targeted users.

The design of the cockpit interface in airplanes is different from cars, trains or ships.

The design or the interface in cellular phones is different from computer games or computer screens, keyboards and mouse.

A good knowledge of the physical and mental abilities and requirements of the target end users are paramount in the design of any interface if efficiency, affordability, acceptability, maintainability, safety and health are the prerequisite to wide spread demands and marketability.

How the functions and tasks of any subsystems should be allocated, to human or to an automated machine? 

What are the consequences in emergency situations for any allocation strategy? 

What are the consequences of an allocation when a system is exported to Third World countries? 

What are the consequences of function allocation to employment, safety risks, health risks and long term viability of any system?

Who usually are in charge of designing interfaces that require multidisciplinary knowledge?

Given that any of these designs require inputs from marketing experts, psychologists, sociologists, economists, engineers, statisticians and legal experts on the liabilities of these designed objects for safe and healthy usage then who should be responsible for designing interfaces?

Teams of professionals should necessarily be involved in interface designs but because time being of the essence in business competition and cost to a lesser extent many of these interfaces are relegated to engineers applying published standards or relying on personal experience and previous models from competitors.

Human Factors data on the physical and mental limitations and capabilities of target users should be part of any standard book for designing interfaces.

Human Factors methodologies need to be disseminated so that viable interfaces could fit the characteristics of the end users.

The Human Factors professionals failed in their first three decades of existence to recognize that their main purpose was to design interfaces, to design practical system and to orient their research toward engineers who could readily use their data in designing systems.

If this trend of targeting engineers in our research papers continues then this profession could make a serious dent in sending the proper message and open up a market for the thousands of Human Factors graduates who should be needed in the design of systems interfaces.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

May 2020
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