Friday, October 26, 2007
Supporters of what is to be called the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, or Kaust, wonder whether the king is simply building another gated island to be dominated by foreigners, like the compounds for oil industry workers that have existed here for decades, or creating an institution that will have a real impact on Saudi society and the rest of the Arab world.
“There are two Saudi Arabias,” said Jamal Khashoggi, the editor of Al Watan, a newspaper. “The question is which Saudi Arabia will take over.”
The king has broken taboos, declaring that the Arabs have fallen critically behind much of the modern world in intellectual achievement and that his country depends too much on oil and not enough on creating wealth through innovation.
A great and much needed move by the King of Saudi Arabia to establish a much needed world class science and technology institution in the Arab World. The $12.5 billion project will hopefully have impact beyond Saudi Arabia extending into the whole region. Where most of the world energy reserves sit, there is a great lack in educational resources targeted towards that sector.
The new graduate institution with it’s moderate environment will have a social impact as well which could tip the social order in favor of openness and enlightenment.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I seriously started writing this post then I felt it turned into bunch of crap so I stopped! But I am going to post it anyways.. What the heck! Here you go:
Enough about fixing Iraq. What about fixing you, me or any of us for that matter? Just like nations people can go through their own internal struggles leading to pain and chaos. How do we fix it?
– Make peace with yourself: just like the Mandella quote "you make peace with your enemies, not your friends", you should start with making peace with yourself. Acknowledge your weaknesses and shortcomings first. Then try to get over them. An alcoholic who does not acknowledge he has a problem is bound to stay this way. Your weakness is you enemy. You make peace with it by acknowledging it. (that’s where I stopped.. Kinda lost track of the point.. so feel free to finish it!).
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
McGuinness said Mandela telling him "you make peace with your enemies, not your friends" had a profound effect on him.
"It sounds simple, I know," McGuinness said. "But when he said it, it meant something. He was asking us to do something he had done himself."
Interesting article in The Boston Globe about fixing Iraq without the US taking a central role. The key is in taking lessons from Northern Ireland and South Africa. Both nations achieved peace after turmoil.
Among the points is to get leaders from different groups talking to each other informally. To get the people involved in the process. To allow opposing parties to confront each other.
However, this should result in an evolutionary arms race between the sexes, as men evolve ever-heightened sensitivity to signs of female fertility. Dr Miller thought lap-dancing clubs a good place to study this arms race, because male detection of female fertility cues would probably translate into an easily quantifiable signal, namely dollars earned. He therefore recruited some of the girls into his experiment, with a view to comparing the earnings of those on the Pill (whose fertility was thus suppressed) with those not on the Pill.
The results support the idea that if evolution has favoured concealed ovulation in women, it has also favoured ovulation-detection in men. The average earnings per shift of women who were ovulating was $335. During menstruation (when they were infertile) that dropped to $185—about what women on the Pill made throughout the month. The lessons are clear. A woman is sexier when she is most fertile. And if she wishes to earn a good living as a dancer, she should stay off the Pill.
Better know your lap dancer!
Monday, October 01, 2007
We can’t afford to keep being this stupid! We have got to get our groove back. We need a president who will unite us around a common purpose, not a common enemy. Al Qaeda is about 9/11. We are about 9/12, we are about the Fourth of July — which is why I hope that anyone who runs on the 9/11 platform gets trounced.
That was Thomas L. Friedman of the NYT talking about a hopeful nation not a scared one that can’t get over the events of 9/11. A nation of 9/12 that is mindful of the tragedy but moves beyond it to embrace openness and liberty.
You can draw an analogy of the above in our personal lives. How often do we get boxed in by our own tragedies? How dare we let our own 9/11s shape us and stop us from being who we are? No doubt we should learn from our mistakes, then move forward to 9/12.