Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Rebel Lecturer

I was very enthusiastic today to hear about a careless student who then decided to work hard and become an excellent student and then became a lecturer at the University at which he was considered a menace, a trouble maker.

He was rebellious as a student and still as a lecturer and did not hesitate to criticize and find his own ways to find solutions to the challenges he faces and communicator of knowledge someone who wants students not to be taught but to learn and learn how to learn.

The educational system in Jordan is in great need of people like him as most faculty members quickly embrace that status quo and the traditional ineffective educational methods (if they haven’t done so already during their high school or college) and do nothing about it.

Students are usually the ones who fight this alone, neglected by official authorities as the uneducated menaces, even though we all know that everyone suffers because of an ineffective creativity-killer educational system. It is inspiring to see that there are lecturers, i.e. faculty members who are supposed to be the system, actually opposed and fight for it.

This did not come at zero cost. The hero-lecturer faced warnings and managerial overrides in addition to the struggle with the other zombie-lecturers: those undead who can’t or just won’t change anything for the better, but yes, for the worse. And it is not not-bad that we want, we want excellent and progress.

As an undergraduate in the University of Jordan who is just about to graduate, I felt I wanted to blame him; why did not he make himself even more visible to other universities? Why didn’t I hear of him before? I would have been one of his most enthusiastic supports as a first-hand sufferer. I felt abandoned by one of my most needed heroes. But I understand the difficulty, especially in a country like Jordan, to invoke a change in what people are used to (let alone what a system is used to).

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Soy Conversations

I tried to rephrase it without being an utter geek but now I wonder if only she would be able to understand me if I said:
"Soy Sauce derives from soy. Soy milk also derives from soy. Now, the question is, is the taste of Soy milk consistent with the taste one could deduce of soy given the information obtained about the taste of soy sauce?"

I asked her if generally soy milk tastes like soy sauce but that wasn't really my question. She said no, they are different. And of course they are different.

But like apples juice and apple pie. They are both derivatives of apples and the derived implementations are consistent with the base class. Meaning they both abstractly taste like apples.

A month after I wrote this I asked another Taiwanese friend the same question, but stated this time much more naturally (this phrasing didn't occur to me the first time). I said: "I have tasted soy sauce but didn't taste soy milk." I wanted to continue with a question, but she interrupted me like a stupid bubbly person saying lots of blahs and stuff about Tofu. I then asked: "Given that I have tasted Soy Sauce, can I imagine the taste of Soy Milk?". She said yes, but Soy Milk is sweet. Looking forward to try that thing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

[Draft] Power delegation

Most of the people I knew, when they think of greatness they immediately delegate the greatness and its possession to gods and supernatural beings and tend to view the matter spiritually. This kind of thinking is that of a convenient humble person who is not going to help humanity progress.

The purpose of human life is to obtain as much power as possible in order to do whatever it is that we imagine. That’s the ultimate general human ambition. Anything can be done, but we need to gain power to actually do it.
Our philosophical views on life would change if our abilities increases. (Also our ability will increase if we embrace an attitude that drives us to desire more power.) Great men are always on their feet, they are always tired, they are always working, and they are stressed and not relaxed waiting for greatness to be achieved by some, real or imagined, being. With every major human development, they are actively taking chances, creating chances, failing and succeeding. Some tend to want to avoid that altogether and some find excuses to not want it in the first place. Not very dissimilar from kids procrastinating on their household chores or homework.
We need to free ourselves from all that fear, the fear of admitting that human beings can become the gods that they worship.
We don’t want to admit that human beings will live eternally, will live much richer and meaningful lives than the one we have now, and will simply experience things we can only imagine nowadays (and perhaps lots of other things we don’t even imagine). And we don’t want to admit because we’re too weak to face the disturbing thought involved in acknowledging the existence of something we want badly and the capacity of other people (beyond us in space and time) to get what we failed/are failing to get. What an egoistic (because we assume we are the best, we have the best possible life every), and pricey failure (because we are missing out!).
But how? Science. We need to focus on scientific discovery and advancement much more as a species. I wonder about the percentage of scientists in the various fields of science in the world. More human effort need to be invested in the scientific human endeavor. People shall respect science as the means to move forward and never doubt the power of the accurate acquisition of information and our attempts to exactly represent/model and understand the world.
Biology, medicine, genetics, neurology, psychology, mathematics and computer science are the means for a literally eternal life and not prejudiced assumptions about god and history and false causal associations. It’s not our weaknesses, failure and fears that decide what’s possible.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Imperfect Nature of Democracy

The following is a passing point of thought, not thoroughly investigated though.

People should stop calling for democracy as the single best political structure for all countries.

Democracy is simply and greatly affected by propaganda and this is the primary function of political parties and election campaigns.

A considerable amount of the masses, the thoughtless masses – and there are many in every country, – are manipulated into following a specific political movement by social or psychological means that aren’t logical or the results of which aren’t the best for the entity, the governing of which is the concern (most commonly countries).

I am against monarchies because who appointed a king? What divine right do kings and queens have and what justifies their designation as such? (This is also questionable even in those countries where a prime minister is in control over the political affairs and major decisions, and the power is with the people). Being a King or Queen is just silly to me, just like being a dictator. So I’m not saying here is that democracy is wrong, but remarking upon its imperfections.

People are not equal. Democracy is based upon the principle that everyone has the right to vote and equally participate in the governing process. This means that it gives way for further imperfections, malfunction and a weak system based on statistical variables of the people participating in such a democracy.

Considering the simple flaws of the democratic process, that sometimes mimics that of product/service commercials, democracy is not something to be sought blindly and in every context. Sometimes it’s not suitable.